Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Department of


Date of this Version

April 2001


Published in J Vet Diagn Invest 13:255–258 (2001).


A 17-year-old male captive West African dwarf crocodile (Osteolaemus tetraspis subsp. tetraspis) died 1 month after fighting with a penmate. Abrasions were present on the head and mandible. Necropsy revealed a vegetative valvular lesion of the left atrioventricular valve, miliary foci of necrosis in the endocardium and myocardium, multiple duodenal and rectal ulcers, and serous atrophy of body fat. Stenotrophomonas maltophilia was isolated in pure culture from lung, liver, and kidney. Gram-negative bacilli were seen histologically in the valvular lesion and in foci of necrosis in the myocardium, liver, spleen, pancreas, kidney, and intestine. Septic thrombi in multiple tissues, arteritis, and pneumonia were additional histologic lesions. Findings indicated that the crocodile died from acute S. maltophilia septicemia, although the primary site of infection was not determined. Stenotrophomonas maltophilia is ubiquitous in the environment and is recognized as an important nosocomial pathogen in humans.