The role of corynebacteria in canine and feline otitis has not been investigated in detail; however, members of this genus are increasingly recognized as pathogens of otitis in both human and veterinary medicine.Here we report the first case of feline otitis associated with the recently described species Corynebacterium provencense. A seven-month old cat presented with a head tilt and ataxia was diagnosed with peripheral vestibular syndrome associated with an otitis media/interna. This took place 6 weeks after resection of a polyp, having initially shown a full recovery with topical ofloxacin and glucocorticoid treatment. Bacteriology of an ear swab yielded a pure culture of corynebacteria, which could not be identified at the species level using routine methods. However, the 16S rRNA gene sequence was 100% identical to the recently published novel corynebacterium species, Corynebacterium provencense. Whole genome sequencing of the cat isolate and calculation of average nucleotide identity (99.1%) confirmed this finding. The cat isolate was found to contain additional presumptive iron acquisition genes that are likely to encode virulence factors. Furthermore, the strain tested resistant to clindamycin, penicillin and ciprofloxacin. The cat was subsequently treated with chloramphenicol, which lead to clinical improvement.Corynebacteria from otitis cases are not routinely identified at the species level and not tested for antimicrobial susceptibility in veterinary laboratories, as they are not considered major pathogens. This may lead to underreporting of this genus or animals being treated with inappropriate antimicrobials since corynebacteria are often resistant to multiple drugs.
Journal: BMC veterinary research