A 48-year-old British man was bitten by a stray cat and ended up with a soft tissue infection caused by a previously undescribed bacterium, according to a new study.
In a case report recently published in the journal emerging infectious diseases, It described how in 2020 the man was taken to the emergency room with swollen hands, multiple stab wounds and abrasions. Eight hours earlier, a feral cat had bitten him multiple times. Doctors cleaned and bandaged the man’s wound, gave him a tetanus shot and administered antibiotics.
However, when he returned to the hospital the next day, his left little and middle fingers were painful and swollen, and both forearms were red and swollen. The wound is cleaned again thoroughly, the damaged tissue is surgically removed, and antibiotics are given intravenously. Fortunately this time, he made a full recovery after five days of oral antibiotics.
Back at the hospital, doctors, including those at Cambridge University Hospital in England, were scrambling to figure out what had happened. When they analyzed the microbes present in his wound samples using genome sequencing and biochemical analysis, they found an unidentifiable organism that had never been seen before.
“distinct and previously undescribed species”
Initially, when researchers analyzed infected swabs, it resembled Streptococcus, a bacterium associated with various diseases such as pharyngitis and conjunctivitis. Genome analysis, however, revealed that the bacterium was completely new and belonged to a genus of Gram-positive bacteria known as Gram-positive bacteria. ball cat.
Whole-genome sequencing of this bacterium revealed that it is distinct from other known strains such as Sulfococcusabout 20 percent, suggested to the researchers that it was a “unique and previously undescribed species.”
Warning to the public about cat bites
Due to its resistance to many traditional antibiotics, Sulfobacillus It poses a challenge for its complete eradication in vivo. Fortunately, a new variant discovered in the UK that responds positively to certain antibiotics offers a glimmer of hope. However, the situation serves as an important warning to the public.
“This report highlights the role of cats as a reservoir of as yet undiscovered bacterial species with pathogenic potential in humans,” the study authors wrote.
Experts point out that cat bites can cause deep wounds, and because of the direct inoculation of saliva, the risk of secondary infection is high.
“In conclusion, cat bites are a common source of zoonotic infection,” they continued. Cats have previously been linked to a variety of bacterial infections, including pneumonic plague, and also transmit other parasites, such as the brain-damaging Toxoplasma gondii.
recommend People should wash cat bites with soap or salt immediately and seek medical attention immediately.
Edited by Felipe Espinosa Wang.