Background: Campylobacter spp., common commensals in the gastrointestinal tract of animals, especially poultry, can cause acute gastrointestinal illness in humans through animal-to-human transmission. Although Campylobacter fetus, especially subspecies fetus, rarely leads to systemic infections such as bacteremia in immunocompromised patients, it is unclear whether Campylobacter fetus subspecies venerealis (Cfv) causes infectious diseases in humans. Case presentation: A 28-year-old man with a history of chronic alcoholism visited the emergency department with weakness of the left extremities. The patient was clinically diagnosed with community-acquired bacterial meningitis. The organism from the blood culture was subsequently identified as Campylobacter fetus. On phylogenetic analysis, the 16S rRNA sequence showed 99.93% similarity with other Cfv 16S rRNA sequences. The patient had no exposure to identifiable sources except for close contact with a companion dog, which could have been a possible source of transmission. Conclusions: This case suggests that Cfv could lead to human systemic infections such as meningitis and that companion animals, in addition to well-known animal hosts, could be sources of transmission.
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