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Classification and external resources
Specialty Infectious disease
ICD-10 A28.0
ICD-9-CM 027.2
MeSH D010326

Pasteurellosis is an infection with a species of the bacterial genus Pasteurella,[1] which is found in humans and other animals.

Pasteurella multocida (subsp. septica and subsp. multocida) is carried in the mouth and respiratory tract of various animals, including pigs.[2] It is a small Gram negative bacillus with bipolar staining by Wayson stain. In animals, it can originate fulminant septicaemia (chicken cholera), but is also a common commensal.

Until taxonomic revision in 1999,[3] Mannheimia spp. were classified as Pasteurella spp., and infections by organisms now called Mannheimia spp., as well as by organisms now called Pasteurella spp., were designated as pasteurellosis. The term "pasteurellosis" is often still applied to mannheimiosis, although such usage has declined.


There are several forms of the infection:

Other locations are possible, such as septic arthritis, meningitis and acute endocarditis, but are very rare.


P. multocida causes numerous pathological conditions in domestic animals. It often acts together with other infectious agents, like Chlamydiae, Mycoplasmae and viruses. Environmental conditions (transportation, housing deficiency, and bad weather) also play a role.

The following diseases are considered caused by P. multocida, alone or associated to other pathogens:

  • Shipping fever in cattle and sheep. ("Shipping fever" may also be caused by Mannheimia haemolytica, in the absence of P. multocida,[4][5] and M. haemolytica serovar A1 is known as the most common cause of the disease.[4] The pathologic condition commonly arises where the causative organism becomes established by secondary infection, following a primary bacterial or viral infection, which may occur after stress, e.g. from handling or transport.[5])
  • Enzootic pneumonia of sheep (and goats, with frequent intervention of Mannheimia haemolytica)
  • Fowl cholera (chicken and other domestic poultry and cage birds)
  • Enzootic pneumonia and atrophic rhinitis of pigs
  • Pasteurellosis of chinchillas
  • Pasteurellosis of rabbits
  • Pasteurellosis suspected in an epizootic illness of saiga antelope, although there are other possible causes.[6]


Diagnosis is made with isolation of Pasteurella multocida in a normally sterile site (blood, pus or CSF).


As the infection is usually transmitted into humans through animal bites, antibiotics usually treat the infection, but medical attention should be sought if the wound is severely swelling. Pasteurellosis is usually treated with high-dose penicillin if severe. Either tetracycline or chloramphenicol provides an alternative in beta-lactam intolerant patients. However, it is most important to treat the wound.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kuhnert P; Christensen H (editors). (2008). Pasteurellaceae: Biology, Genomics and Molecular Aspects. Caister Academic Press. ISBN 978-1-904455-34-9. [ 
  2. ^ Hunt Gerardo, S.; Citron, D. M.; Claros, M. C.; Fernandez, H. T.; Goldstein, E. J. C. (2001). "Pasteurella multocida subsp. multocida and P. multocida subsp. septica Differentiation by PCR Fingerprinting and -Glucosidase Activity". Journal of Clinical Microbiology 39 (7): 2558–2564. doi:10.1128/JCM.39.7.2558-2564.2001. ISSN 0095-1137. PMID 11427568. 
  3. ^ Angen Ø, Mutters R, Caugant DA, Olsen JE, Bisgaard M; Mutters; Caugant; Olsen; Bisgaard (1999). "Taxonomic relationships of the [Pasteurella] haemolytica complex as evaluated by DNA-DNA hybridizations and 16S rRNA sequencing with proposal of Mannheimia haemolytica gen. nov., comb. nov., Mannheimia granulomatis comb. nov., Mannheimia glucosida sp. nov., Mannheimia ruminalis sp. nov. and Mannheimia varigena sp. nov". Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol. 49 (Pt 1): 67–86. doi:10.1099/00207713-49-1-67. PMID 10028248. 
  4. ^ a b Zecchinon L, Fett T, Desmecht D; Fett; Desmecht (2005). "How Mannheimia haemolytica defeats host defence through a kiss of death mechanism". Vet. Res. 36 (2): 133–56. doi:10.1051/vetres:2004065. PMID 15720968. 
  5. ^ a b Brogden KA, Lehmkuhl HD, Cutlip RC; Lehmkuhl; Cutlip (1998). "Pasteurella haemolytica complicated respiratory infections in sheep and goats". Vet. Res. 29 (3–4): 233–54. PMID 9689740. 
  6. ^ "Endangered saiga antelope mysteriously dying in vast numbers in Kazakhstan". The Independent. Associated Press. Retrieved 6 June 2015. 

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