Capnocytophaga spp have both passive and active mechanisms of immune evasion to escape from the dog's host immune system.
Species which have been reported in dogs include:
- Capnocytophaga canimorsus
- Capnocytophaga ochracea
- Capnocytophaga sputigena
- Capnocytophaga cynodegmi
- Capnocytophaga haemolytica
Male dogs of small breeds have a higher predilection to carrying C. canimorsus.
- Capnocytophaga gingivalis
- Capnocytophaga granulosa
The bacterium has been isolated from humans, infected by dog bites, scratches, licks or simply exposure to dogs. In humans, C. cynodegmi typically causes localized cellulitis of various severities. Other local infections such as keratitis can occur. Systemic infections such as meningoencephalitis and generalized sepsis have been reported in splenectomized patients, as well as those with predisposing conditions such as diabetes, alcoholism, and cirrhosis.
In dogs, rare cases of secondary infections with Capnocytophaga spp have been reported following oral trauma or foreign body aspiration.
Diagnosis can be confirmed on culture but PCR assays are usually definitive in establishing a diagnosis.
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