Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Anaerobic bacterial infections: overview

Contributor(s): Sarah Binns, Karen Coyne

Introduction

  • Anaerobic bacteria do not require oxygen for growth.
  • There are three types of anaerobic bacteria, obligate anaerobes, aerotolerant anaerobes and facultative anaerobes:
    • Obligate anaerobes cannot use oxygen for growth and will not survive in areas of high oxygen content or high redox potential.
    • Aerotolerant anaerobes cannot use oxygen for growth but will tolerate the presence of it.
    • Facultative anaerobes can grow without oxygen, but may utilize oxygen if it is present.
  • Obligate anaerobes can be either gram-positive or gram-negative rods or cocci.
  • Bacteria produce toxic metabolites from oxygen. Obligate anaerobes lack certain enzymes, such as catalase and superoxide dismutase, that detoxify these metabolites.
  • Obligate anaerobes make up a significant portion of the normal bacteria flora of dogs. They form 95-99% of the total bacterial mass in the normal flora of the intestine, and also inhabit the oral cavity, respiratory tract and genitourinary tract.
  • Most anaerobes in the normal flora do not form spores.
  • Anaerobic bacteria play an important role in protection of mucosal surfaces from interactions with other pathogens.
  • The majority of anaerobic infections begin with a break in the skin or mucous membranes that permits normally present bacteria to invade underlying tissues.
  • The virulence of anaerobic infections increases if they produce enzymes or toxins capable of destroying surrounding tissue, eg BacteroidesFusobacterium and Clostridium, all release enzymes or toxins.
  • Wounds may be contaminated with spore-forming anaerobic bacteria such as Clostridium spp, which are common in the environment.

Common anaerobic bacteria from dogs

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Pathogenesis

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Clinical findings associated with anaerobic infections

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Diseases associated with anaerobic bacterial infections

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Diagnosis and treatment

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Nagy E, Urbán E, Nord C E et al (2011) Antimicrobial susceptibility of Bacteroides fragilis group isolates in Europe: 20 years of experience. Clin Microbiol Infect 17 (3), 371-9 PubMed.
  • McKenzie E, Riehl J, Banse H et al (2010) Prevalence of diarrhea and enteropathogens in racing sled dogs. J Vet Intern Med 24 (1), 97-103 PubMed.
  • Wang A L, Ledbetter E C, Kern T J (2009) Orbital abscess bacterial isolates and in vitro antimicrobial susceptibility patterns in dogs and cats. Vet Ophthalmol 12 (2), 91-96 PubMed.
  • Ledbetter E C, Scarlett J M (2008) Isolation of obligate anaerobic bacteria from ulcerative keratitis in domestic animals. Vet Ophthalmol 11 (2), 114-122 PubMed.
  • Meyers B, Schoeman J P, Goddard A et al (2008) The bacteriology and antimicrobial susceptibility of infected and non-infected dog bite wounds: fifty cases. Vet Microbiol 127 (3-4), 360-368 PubMed.
  • Radice M, Martino P A, Reiter A M (2006) Evaluation of subgingival bacteria in the dog and susceptibility to commonly used antibiotics. J Vet Dent 23 (4), 219-224 PubMed.
  • Conrads G, Citron D M, Mutters R et al (2004) Fusobacterium canifelinum sp. nov., from the oral cavity of cats and dogs. Syst Appl Microbiol 27 (4), 407-413 PubMed.
  • Radaelli S T, Platt S R (2002) Bacterial meningoencephalomyelitis in dogs: a retrospective study of 23 cases (1990-1999). J Vet Intern Med 16 (2), 159-163 PubMed.
  • Weese J S, Staempfli H R, Prescott J F et al (2001) The roles of Clostridium difficile and enterotoxigenic Clostridium perfringens in diarrhea in dogs. J Vet Intern Med 15 (4), 374-378 PubMed.
  • Walker R D, Ortiz B L, Render A E (1999) Anaerobic infections in Animals and Therapeutic Considerations. Anaerobe (3/4), 279-286 VetMedResource.
  • Jang S S, Breher J E, Dabaco L A et al (1997) Organisms isolated from dogs and cats with anaerobic infections and susceptibility to selected antimicrobial agents. J Am Vet Med Assoc 210 (11), 1610-1614 PubMed.
  • Hariharan H, Lamey K & Heaney S (1995) Isolation of obligate anaerobic bacteria from clinical specimens. Can Vet J 36 (3), 173 PubMed.
  • Jang S S & Hirsh D C (1994) Characterization, distribution, and microbiological associations of Fusobacterium spp. in clinical specimens of animal origin. J Clin Microbiol 32 (2), 384-387 PubMed.
  • Jang S S & Hirsh D C (1991) Identity of Bacteroides isolates and previously named Bacteroides spp in clinical specimens of animal origin. Am J Vet Res 52 (5), 738-741 PubMed.
  • Goldstein E J, Citron D M, Finegold S M (1984) Role of anaerobic bacteria in bite-wound infections. Rev Infect Dis 6 (Suppl 1), S177-183 PubMed.


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