Culture-positive sepsis in neonatal camelids: 21 cases

Brett A. Dolente, Susan Lindborg, Jonathan E. Palmer, Pamela A. Wilkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: There is limited literature on neonatal bacterial sepsis in New World (NW) camelids. Hypothesis: Bacterial culture-positive crias have clinical differences based on the specific bacterial genera isolated. Animals: Bacterial culture-positive NW camelid crias <21 days of age from 1990 to 2005 were included. Methods: Historic physical examination and cliniopathologic data were retrieved from medical records as were the identity and antibiograms of bacterial isolates. Cases were categorized by outcome (survival versus nonsurvival) and type of sepsis (gram-negative or gram-positive). Kruskal-Wallis and chi-square testing were used to evaluate differences between groups. Results: Twenty-one crias met the inclusion criteria. Median age was 2 days. Failure of passive transfer was common. There were few differences identified on the basis of outcome or type of sepsis. Crias without gastrointestinal or central nervous system involvement survived in greater numbers. Forty-six percent of isolates were gram-positive. The most common isolates were the following: Escherichia coli, Enterococcus spp., Listeria monocytogenes, and Citrobacter spp. Overall survival was 67% (14/21). Conclusions and Clinical Importance: Crias with sepsis do not appear to present with major biochemical, hematologic, or blood gas abnormalities, potentially complicating diagnosis. Affected crias may not have localizing signs at presentation and are not usually febrile, although hypothermia, tachypnea, and tachycardia are relatively common. Total protein concentration was not a substitute for immunoglobulin G measurement in septic crias in this study. Familiarity with the clinical presentation and common pathogens isolated should improve early recognition and treatment and ultimately outcome of crias with sepsis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)519-525
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of veterinary internal medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Alpaca
  • Bacteremia
  • Infection
  • Llama

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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