UBC Faculty Research and Publications

A case of Streptococcus canis bacteremia, osteomyelitis, sacroiliitis, myositis, and abscess Van Tol, A. L.; Tang, B.; Mackie, I. D.


Background: Streptococcus canis is a group G beta-hemolytic Streptococcus species which normally resides on the skin and mucosal surfaces of dogs. Although it rarely causes infection in humans, our case and review of relevant literature demonstrate that this multi-host pathogen may be responsible for metastatic infection. We present an appropriate management strategy in such cases. Case presentation: A previously healthy 26-year-old male presented to the emergency department with a 2-day history of erythema, pain, and swelling of the left ankle and foot, consistent with acute cellulitis. The patient was initially discharged home with a plan to complete a course of IV cefazolin as an outpatient, but later recalled after two sets of blood cultures grew gram positive cocci. Blood cultures speciated as Streptococcus canis. This was performed by identifying beta hemolytic strep on blood agar, then typed as Lancefield group G, followed by MALDI-TOF which distinguished S. canis. History was unremarkable except for a 2-week history of lower back pain precipitated by a wrestling injury. There was no canine bite or scratch wound, although the patient lives with a dog. CT spine was obtained which demonstrated right piriformis myositis and S1 osteomyelitis. MRI additionally demonstrated right erector spinae myositis, right sacroiliitis, and multiple collections in the right posterior paraspinal soft tissues. Transthoracic echocardiogram did not demonstrate valvular vegetations. The S. canis isolate was pan-susceptible and the patient was ultimately discharged home and completed a 8-week course of IV penicillin G. After completion of therapy, his symptoms, repeat imaging, and biochemical markers suggested resolution of infection on follow-up. Conclusions: We suggest that management of S. canis bacteremia should involve consideration of screening for metastatic infection and infectious diseases consultation. However, despite its potential for systemic involvement, S. canis is often susceptible to narrow spectrum antibiotics, and may be treated with penicillins. Key Points 1. S. canis does not require a clear portal of entry to cause infection 2. When S. canis infection is identified, screening for sites of metastatic infection should be considered 3. S. canis infection is typically susceptible to narrow-spectrum antibiotics

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