What is the role of lab studies in the workup of Pasteurella multocida infection?

Updated: Nov 07, 2019
  • Author: Sara L Cross, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Gram stain of purulent material or other fluid specimens including blood, sputum, and cerebrospinal fluid may show small, gram-negative, nonmotile, non–spore-forming pleomorphic coccobacilli.

Haemophilus species, N meningitides, Moraxella species, and Acinetobacter species have a morphology that is similar to that of P multocida infection and can therefore be easily confused with Pasteurella species.

Wright, Giemsa, and Wayson stains enhance bipolar staining. Some P multocida strains exhibit a mucous capsule.

The diagnosis is confirmed by identifying the organism in culture.

Pasteurella species are highly sensitive to several penicillins and cephalosporins. Susceptibility testing is indicated in immunocompromised patients and in the setting of treatment failure or drug allergies.

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