Phylum Actinobacteria, Class Actinobacteria, Subclass Actibacteridae, Order Actynomycetales, Suborder Corynebacterinae, Family
Corynebacteriaceae, Genus Corynebacterium, Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis (Buchanan 1911) Eberson 1918.
Historical synonyms: Bacillus pseudotuberculosis-ovis Lehmann and Neumann 1896, Bacillus pseudotuberculosis Buchanan 1911,
Corynebacterium ovis Bergey et al. 1923, Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis-ovis (Lehmann and Neumann 1896) Hauduroy et al.
1937, Corynebacterium preisz-nocardi Hauduroy et al. 1937, Mycobacterium tuberculosis-ovis Krasil'nikov 1941.
Gram-positive. Nonspore-forming. Nonmotile. Very similar to C. diphtheriae biotype
gravis, small irregular rods, 0.5-0.6/1.0-3.0 µm, staining irregularly, with club forms
and metachromatic granules.
Grow well on blood agar: yellowish white, opaque convex colonies, with matt surface,
1 mm in diameter, often with a narrow zone of hemolysis around the colony. Aerobic
No CAMP reaction (with a beta-hemolysin-producing strain of Staphylococcus
aureus). Reverse CAMP test is positive.
Tellurium salts are reduced to tellurium (which is precipitated in the cell to color the
colonies blackish on blood tellurite agar).
Originally isolated from necrotic areas in the kidney of a sheep. Habitat: sheep, goats, horses.
Susceptible to beta-lactams, macrolides, tetracyclines, chloramphenicol and rifampin. Some C. diphtheriae phages will lyse strains
of C. pseudotuberculosis and C. ulcerans.
Can harbour the phage-borne diphtheria toxin gene.
Infections are rarely seen in humans (caseous lymphadenitis acquired as occupational disease, pneumonia)
It is a significant cause of morbidity in animals, mainly in sheep, goats and horses: ulcerative lymphangitis, abscesses and other
chronic purulent infections.
Cell-free filtrates of most strains are lethal to guinea pigs, mice, rabbits and sheep.
The phospholipase D may represent a virulence factor.
- Funke G., von Graevenitz A., Clarridge III J.E., and Bernard K.A., 1997. Clinical Microbiology of Coryneform Bacteria. Clinical
Microbiology Rewiews Vol. 10, No. 1, p. 125-159.
- Funke G., 2006. Corynebacteria and rare coryneforms. In: Topley & Wilson’s Microbiology & Microbial Infections, 10th Edition,
Edited by Borriello S.P., Murray P.R. and Funke G.,Edward Arnold (Publishers) Ltd., Bacteriology, volume 2.
- Cummins C.S., Lelliott R.A. and Rogosa M., 1975. Genus Corynebacterium Lehmann and Neumann 1896. In: Buchanan R.E. and
Gibbons N.E. (Editors), Bergey’s Manual of Determinative Bacteriology, Eight Edition, The Williams & Wilkins Company, Baltimore,
- Diaconescu A. si Damian M., 2009. Identificarea corinebacteriilor. In: Buiuc D., Negut M. (Editori), Tratat de Microbiologie Clinica,
Editia a IIIa, Editura Medicala, Bucuresti, 620-651.
- Holt J.G., Krieg N.R., Sneath P.H.A., Staley J.T. and Williams S.T., 1994. Bergey's Manual of Determinative Bacteriology, Ninth
Edition, Williams & Wilkins, A Waverly Company, Baltimore, pp 571-596.
Fermentative metabolism. No oxidative metabolism. Non-partially-acid-fast.
Positive results for catalase, cistinase, H2S on Tinsdale medium (containing L-cystine and potassium tellurite; so, also cistinase
positive), methyl red, urease, acid production from: fructose, galactose, glucose, glycogen, maltose & mannose.
Negative results for casein hydrolysis, esculin hydrolysis, hippurate hydrolysis, indole production, oxidase, lipophilism,
pyrazinamidase, tyrosine hydrolysis, acid production from: lactose, mannitol, raffinose, rhamnose, salicin, starch, trehalose & xylose.
Variable results for alkaline phosphatase, gelatinase, nitrate reduction, acid production from: arabinose, dextrin, glycerol & sucrose.
(c) Costin Stoica