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J Pediatr Orthop. 2013 Apr-May;33(3):e34-8. doi: 10.1097/BPO.0b013e318287ffe6.

Pasteurella canis osteoarticular infections in childhood: review of bone and joint infections due to pasteurella species over 10 years at a tertiary pediatric hospital and in the literature.

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  • 1Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Westmead, NSW, Australia.



Pasteurella spp. are important bacterial pathogens in both animals and humans. Most reported Pasteurella infections in humans involve skin and soft tissues, often after an animal bite, scratch, or lick to an open wound. Infections involving bone and joints are well recognized, but have not been previously reported due to Pasteurella canis without a history of penetrating dog bite.


We report a case of P. canis osteomyelitis in a 14-month-old girl and a case of P. canis septic arthritis in a 19-month-old girl, both occurring without any preceding penetrating injury. Review of all osteoarticular infections due to Pasteurella spp. at our tertiary pediatric hospital over the past 10 years was performed by obtaining the patient records of all children with positive bacterial cultures from any site for Pasteurella spp. as identified through our microbiology laboratory database. A MEDLINE and EMBASE database search was then performed to identify published pediatric cases in the literature since 1950.


In addition to the cases of P. canis osteomyelitis and septic arthritis outlined, we identified 8 children with positive cultures for Pasteurella spp. from the hospital's microbiology database. Two of these children had deep tissue contamination involving bone and/or joints secondary to animal bites. Ten further published cases were identified from the literature since 1950.


: Established Pasteurella osteomyelitis and septic arthritis secondary to animal bites can be largely prevented through appropriate wound management at the time of injury. However, the potential for deep tissue infection with this organism, including the species P. canis, without prior penetrating injury should be recognized.


Level IV-case series.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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