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Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume 3, Issue 5, Pages 205-209
Gynecological Case Report

Pasteurella multocida Bacteremia in a Patient With Ovarian Cancer and Chemotherapy-induced Neutropenia

Divisions of Gynecologic Oncology and Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Cedars-Sia Medical Center, 8700 Beverly Boulevard, 160 West Towers, Los Ageles, CA 90048, USA

Received 31 October 1995; Accepted 6 December 1995

Copyright © 1995 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background:Pasteurella multocida is a commensal organism found in the saliva and oropharynx of domestic animals. It causes a variety of human infections ranging from cellulitis to bacteremia and sepsis. The severity of infection is somewhat related to the immunocompetency of the infected host. An immunocompromised host is more likely to suffer a disseminated infection as a result of contact with this organism than an immunocompetent host. This case report and review of the literature are presented to further evaluate the types of infections caused by this organism in oncology patients.

Case: A 54-year-old woman with epithelial ovarian cancer and a chemotherapy-induced nadir of her WBC count developed P. multocida bacteremia after she incurred a scratch from her pet cat. She was treated with ceftazidime and then penicillin G with prompt resolution of the bacteremia.

Conclusion: This paper summarizes an infectious complication that is likely to become more common as chemotherapy-induced neutropenia and pet ownership in the elderly become common coincidences. As such, oncologists and infectious disease physicians should keep this organism in mind when selecting antibiotics to treat the febrile, nadiring cancer patient who has known pet contact.