Man bitten by stray cat contracts unprecedented ‘widespread’ bacterial infection

A 48-year-old British man bitten by a stray cat suffered “painful” swelling of his hands and a “extensive” infection caused by a previously unknown bacteria, a new study shows.

The research was recently published in the journal emerging infectious diseasesIt tells the story of a 48-year-old man who was bitten by a stray cat in 2020 and was admitted to the emergency room about eight hours later with swollen hands, multiple puncture wounds, and abrasions.

Researchers including those at Cambridge University Hospital in the UK have discovered a new bacterium Glomus This resulted in “extensive soft tissue infection” in the man bitten by the cat.

Previous research has revealed the possible role of cats as carriers of yet-to-be-discovered pathogens, as well as the potential for zoonotic infections to be transmitted from animals to humans, as bites from cats’ long, sharp teeth can cause deep wounds.

Although the man was treated for the possible infection, given a booster dose of tetanus vaccine and several oral antibiotics and discharged, 24 hours later he returned to the emergency room with infections in his little finger, left heart, and right heart.

Doctors surgically removed the damaged tissue around the wound and gave him three intravenous antibiotics, a treatment that eventually seemed to work and allowed him to recover.

When researchers analyzed microorganisms from swabs from an infection on his right middle finger, they found an unidentified microbe that resembled Streptococcusa bacteria associated with strep throat, conjunctivitis, and meningitis.

However, the bacterium’s genome did not match any previously recorded strain, indicating that it is a new microorganism that has never been documented before.

The researchers then discovered that the new bacteria belonged to a genus of Gram-positive bacteria called Gram-positive bacteria. Glomus It differs from related strains, suggesting it is a “unique species that has not been described before.”

Experts point out that cat bites can cause deep wounds, and direct inoculation of their saliva has a high risk of secondary infection.

People are advised to clean cat bites immediately with soap or salt and seek immediate medical attention.

The doctors said the new findings “highlight the role of cats as carriers of yet-to-be-discovered bacterial species with the potential to cause disease in humans.”

Please log in first before adding translations Michelle Padilla

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