Septic Shock Due to Pasteurella multocida Bacteremia: A Case Report

Niyati Narsana; Faria Farhat


J Med Case Reports. 2015;9(159) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Introduction: Pasteurella is a Gram-negative coccobacillus that causes a wide spectrum of diseases in humans and is commonly transmitted from cat and dog bites. An increasing number of cats and dogs are kept as pets in American households which increases the risk of pet-related infections.

Case presentation: An 82-year-old African American woman with multiple comorbidities presented with fever, vomiting and diarrhea; she later developed septic shock requiring vasopressors and intubation. She was found to have Pasteurella multocida bacteremia. Her hospital course was complicated by a pulseless electrical activity arrest. She had exposure to her pet cat at home. We believe that a possible portal of entry was her skin; however, other possibilities such as respiratory tract could not be excluded. She was treated with imipenem-cilastatin and discharged after 25 days.

Conclusions: Studies have shown a mortality range from 7 to 31% in Pasteurella bacteremia. Due to an increasing number of pets and high mortality of this disease, it is important to have a high suspicion for this infection, especially in elderly and immunocompromised patients.


Pasteurella multocida is small Gram-negative coccobacillus that is a component of the upper respiratory tract and gastrointestinal flora of many animals.[1] Human infections are most commonly caused by cat and dog bites. Pasteurella is the most common organism isolated from cat and dog bites.[2]

According to the recent 'National Pet Owners Survey' of the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, 42 million and 54 million US households own cats and dogs as pets respectively.[3] There are approximately 85 million cats and 77 million dogs owned as pets in America.[3] Every year, there are approximately 300,000 emergency department visits in America due to animal bites.[2]

Pasteurella can cause a wide spectrum of diseases from local infections to septic shock. We present a case of septic shock in an elderly woman due to Pasteurella multocida.