Capnocytophaga canimorsus Capsular Serovar and Disease Severity, Helsinki Hospital District, Finland, 2000–2017

Estelle Hess, Francesco Renzi, Panu Karhunen, Mélanie Dol, Adrien Lefevre, Jenny Antikainen, Elodie Carlier, Johanna Hästbacka, Guy Cornelis

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We assembled a collection of 73 Capnocytophaga canimorsus isolates obtained from blood cultures taken from patients treated at Helsinki University Hospital (Helsinki, Finland) during 2000–2017. We serotyped these isolates by PCR and Western blot and attempted to correlate pathogen serovar with patient characteristics. Our analyses showed, in agreement with previous research, that 3 C. canimorsus serovars (A–C) caused most (91.8%) human infections, despite constituting only 7.6% of isolates found in dogs. The 3 fatalities that occurred in our cohort were equally represented by these serovars. We found 2 untypeable isolates, which we designated serovars J and K. We did not detect an association between serovar and disease severity, immune status, alcohol abuse, or smoking status, but dog bites occurred more frequently among patients infected with non-A–C serovars. Future research is needed to confirm serovar virulence and develop strategies to reduce risk for these infections in humans.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2195-2201
Number of pages7
JournalEmerging Infectious Diseases
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2018


  • 16S rDNA sequencing
  • Capnocytophaga canimorsus
  • Finland
  • Helsinki
  • Helsinki Hospital District
  • bacteria
  • capsular serovar
  • capsular typing
  • coagulopathy
  • disease severity
  • dog commensal
  • dogs
  • human infection
  • sepsis
  • septic shock
  • serovar J
  • serovar K
  • typing
  • virulence
  • zoonoses
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Virulence
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S/genetics
  • Capnocytophaga/classification
  • Animal Diseases/epidemiology
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Cats
  • Serogroup
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections/diagnosis
  • Finland/epidemiology
  • Animals
  • Dogs


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