Bacteria in the saliva of pets can kill people, even with licking

Woman died in the US after being infected by the bacterium capnositopefaga. Doctors suspect that the cause is licking your dog.


25 August 2018, 11.33 am – Posted on 25 August 2018, 11.23 am

São Paulo – A bacterium that is present in the saliva of most dogs and cats can kill people. The bacterium is the capnositopefaga and infection by contact with it is very rare.

But a woman died in the United States this month after being infected with the bacteria. Doctors suspect that the infection is caused by a lick of your dog.

In an interview with CNN, the victim's husband said that the family suspected she had only the flu. But the usual antibiotics had no effect and after two days' stay she died.

According to the doctors who have visited the patient, contact with the capnositopefaga bacteria is rarely problematic and almost never fatal. But for some people the consequences can be devastating.

In another recent case, a man had amputated a leg because of an infection caused by the same bacteria. The most likely cause of the problem is, again, licking a dog. As in the previous case, doctors point out that the infection is extremely rare, especially if there is no bite of the animal.

According to the newspaper The Independent, only 500 cases of capnositopephaga infection have been reported in the United States and Canada without a bite from an animal.

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