Capnocytophaga canimorsus peritonitis diagnosed by mass spectrometry in a diabetic patient undergoing peritoneal dialysis: A case report

Katsuyuki Tanabe, Shugo Okamoto, Sumie Hiramatsu Asano, Jun Wada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Bacterial peritonitis is a serious complication of patients undergoing peritoneal dialysis (PD). Although the identification of causative organisms and use of appropriate antibiotics are essential for treatment, rare and fastidious bacteria are sometimes difficult to detect by conventional biochemical assays. Capnocytophaga canimorsus is a fastidious and slow-growing bacterium that forms a part of the normal oral flora of dogs and cats and is extremely rare as a peritonitis-causing organism. This report demonstrates the usefulness of a mass spectrometry-based technique in identifying such a rare organism in PD-related peritonitis and discusses the diagnosis and treatment of C. canimorsus peritonitis. Case presentation: A 49-year-old woman with type 2 diabetes mellitus underwent PD for two years. Repeated exit-site infections led to subcutaneous pathway diversion two months ago. She was hospitalized with fever and abdominal pain as well as cloudy dialysis effluent. Laboratory data revealed increased serum C-reactive protein level and white blood cell (WBC) count in the effluent. Her exit site had no sign of infection, leading to the diagnosis of PD-related peritonitis. Initial therapy with intraperitoneal ceftazidime immediately ameliorated her symptoms, and the WBC count in the effluent normalized in five days. Culture test results of the dialysis effluent on admission were negative with no information regarding the infection route. However, mass spectrometry (MALDI Biotyper, Bruker Daltonics) successfully obtained the specific spectral pattern for C. canimorsus. She had four cats in her house and was advised not to allow the cats in the room where the bag exchange took place. Conclusions: C. canimorsus is a rare cause of peritonitis in PD patients and is usually susceptible to intraperitoneal third-generation cephalosporins. This mass spectrometry-based bacterial identification method could provide more opportunities to identify uncommon causes and promote appropriate antibiotics therapy in PD-related peritonitis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number219
JournalBMC nephrology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 14 2019


  • Capnocytophaga canimorsus
  • MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry
  • Peritoneal dialysis
  • Peritonitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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