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Ann Intern Med. 1977 Jan;86(1):1-5.

Unidentified gram-negative rod infection. A new disease of man.


A Gram-negative bacillus that defies identification was isolated from blood cultures of 17 patients with fever. Fifteen patients were male adults, and 14 patients had underlying diseases, including previous splenectomy in five, which impair host defenses against infection. Illnesses occurred in the summer and autumn in 14 cases and had been recently preceded by dog bites in 10 cases. Clincal syndromes included cellulitis in seven cases, primary bacteremia without localization in four, purulent meningitis in four, and endocarditis in three. Three patients died. The organism grows slowly on blood or chocolate agar in 10% CO, is oxidase- and catalase-positive, and is negative for nitrate reduction, indole production, and urease. It produces acid from glucose, lactose, and maltose. These features distinguish it from all previously described and classified bacteria. Furthermore, the epidemiologic features of the patients suggest that this organism is an opportunistic invader and may have an animal reservoir in nature.

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