Bite, Human



  • Third most common bite (after dogs and cats)
  • Most bites (up to 75%) occur during aggressive acts
  • 15–20% are related to sexual activity (love nips)
  • 2 types of bites:
    • Occlusional bites: Laceration or crush injury to affected body part:
      • Occurs when human teeth bite into the skin
      • More prone to infection than animal bites
    • Clenched-fist injuries (CFIs) (CFIs; most serious type): Present as small wounds over metacarpophalangeal joints in dominant hand (fight bites):
      • Sustained from a clenched fist striking the mouth and teeth of another person
  • With joint relaxation from the clenched position:
    • Puncture site sealed
    • Oral bacteria inoculated in the anaerobic setting within the joint
    • Bacterial inoculation carried by the tendons deeper into the potential spaces of the hand
    • Increases chances for a more extensive infection


  • Aerobic and anaerobic organisms:
    • Most common:
      • Streptococcus
      • Staphylococcus
    • Others:
      • Eikenella corrodens—exhibits synergism with Streptococcus, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacteroides, and gram-negative organisms
      • Haemophilus influenzae
      • Peptostreptococcus
      • Corynebacterium
  • Although rare, case reports of viral transmission via bites (hepatitis, HIV, and herpes)

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