Isolates of the Burkholderia cepacia complex (BCC) are known as plant and human pathogens. We describe herein BCC infections as the cause of subcutaneous abscesses and purulent cellulitis in 5 cats. All cats were presented with an open wound, and 4 received standard wound care and empiric antibiotic therapy. Despite treatment, clinical signs worsened in 4 cats. Isolates of the BCC were obtained from all 5 cases. Two cats were submitted for postmortem examination. Subcutaneous abscesses with draining fistulas were observed. Histopathology revealed severe, pyogranulomatous cellulitis with intralesional gram-negative bacilli. Based on susceptibility results, the other 3 cats were administered effective antibiotics and recovered without complications. The BCC was cultured from the 2% chlorhexidine surgical scrub solution used in the clinic, suggesting the source of infection for 4 of 5 cats. Given the ability to grow in antiseptic solutions, the extra steps required to culture from antiseptics, and innate multidrug resistance, the BCC poses a challenge to both detect and treat. Although the BCC causes disease almost exclusively in humans with cystic fibrosis or immunodeficiency, the bacteria should also be a differential for nosocomial infections in veterinary patients.
Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation – SAGE
Published: Sep 1, 2018