A dog owner died from a rare infection he caught after being licked by his beloved pet.
The 63-year-old man from Bremen, in northern Germany, visited hospital after developing symptoms including fever, breathing problems and a severe rash on his face and legs.
The previously healthy man was admitted to hospital and placed on a strong course of antibiotics but his condition deteriorated and he died of septic shock sixteen days later.
The European Journal of Case Reports in Internal Medicine reported he had been infected by a bacteria called Capnocytophaga canimorsus transmitted from his pet dog.
It stated: “He had been touched and licked, but not bitten or injured, by his dog, his only pet, in previous weeks.”
The germ is commonly found in the mouths of dogs and cats and is ordinarily harmless to the animals or their owners.
It is most commonly transferred to humans through animal bites.
The Centre for Disease Control states that infection in humans is rare but can affect those with weak immune systems or those who drink excessive amounts of alcohol.
Research suggests the infection can be fatal in between one quarter and one third of recorded cases.
There have been a handful of cases where C. Caimorsus has proved fatal in humans.
An article published in the Lancet in 2017 details the death of a 47-year-old man who became infected and died of septic shock.
In 2018 US man Greg Manteufel developed the same infection after playing with several dogs.
Surgeons removed his nose, legs and both hands to stop the spread of sepsis and he was able to survive.