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January 28, 1983

More From the Pesky Pasteurella

Author Affiliations

Louisiana State University Medical Center Lafayette

JAMA. 1983;249(4):516. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330280062034

Pasteurella multocida was first isolated from birds more than 100 years ago, and only recently has the frequency and full clinical spectrum of human infection with this organism been recognized. In this issue, Kalish and Sands (p 514) along with Stein et al (p 508) further expand and elucidate the current clinical problems caused by this pleomorphic gram-negative organism. Pasteurella multocida is primarily an animal pathogen that causes septicemia in many domestic and wild animals, thus deriving the name many killing. In humans, clinical infections can be grouped into one of three types. A local infection may occur after animal-inflicted wounds, preponderantly cat and dog bites and scratches. Severe swelling, erythema, and pain may develop, and the infection is associated with a gray serous or sanguinopurulent discharge.1 With sharp animal teeth, penetration and inoculation of the synovium and periosteum may result in osteomyelitis or septic arthritis. Among infections not