Pasteurella multocida
rising and twisting deposit  when shaked
Pasteurella multocida colonies on Blood agar
Pasteurella multocida
Cultural characteristics
Biochemical characters
Phylum Proteobacteria, Class Gammaproteobacteria, Order Pasteurellales, Family Pasteurellaceae, Genus Pasteurella, Pasteurella
(Lehmann and Neumann 1899) Rosenbusch and Merchant 1939.
- P. multocida subsp. multocida (Lehmann and Neumann 1899) Rosenbusch and Merchant 1939
- P. multocida subsp. gallicida Mutters, Ihm, Pohl, Frederiksen and Mannheim 1985
- P. multocida subsp. septica Mutters, Ihm, Pohl, Frederiksen and Mannheim 1985.

Old synonyms:
Bacterium mutocidum multocidum Lehmann and Neumann 1899, Pasteurella gallicida (Burrill 1883) Buchanan 1925.
Coccoid cells, short rods, pleomorphic rods and short filaments, 0.3-1.0/1.0-2.0 µm, Gram-negative, usually bipolar, nonmotile. Many
strains produce capsule. Type 4 fimbriae and pili of rigid and curly  types have been observed.
Can grow on usual media but grow better on blood or serum-containing media (sheep or bovine), especially at first isolation.
Regular, smooth, nontransparent, gray colonies; 0.5-2.0 mm. diameter after 24 hours incubations at 37 ºC on agar media;
nonhemolytic. Isolates from the respiratory tract of ruminants, pigs and rabbits may form large, mucoid colonies agar. Variable growth
on MacConkey medium.(different formulations of medium may explain different test result).
In broth usually causes turbidity, but granular growth may occur; a thick pellicle may appear by aging.
Can survive 30 days in cultures at room temperature.
Wide mesophilic range from
25-42 ºC; optimal growth for avian strains might be as high as 42 ºC, and 36 ºC for mammalian strains.
Wide distribution among terrestrial and aquatic mammals and birds; it is usually an opportunistic pathogens that may colonize and
form part of the indigenous flora of the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory and lower genital tracts.
Some strains are encapsulated, and four capsular group -A,B,D,E- have been described. Capsule type A serotypes 1,3, and 4 are the
cause of fowl cholera in poultry and wild birds.
P. multocida capsule  types B and E are associated with hemorrhagic septicemia of
cattle, water buffaloes & occasionally other species. Bronchopneumonia in feedlot cattle and enzootic pneumonia of calves less than
6 months old, are mainly associated with capsule type A. Atrophic rhinitis and bronchopneumonia in pigs are caused by capsular
types A and D.
Strains of
P. multocida that cause atrophic rhinitis in pigs produce a 145-kDa dermonecrotic toxin that is an essential virulence factor
for this infection.
Clinical isolates of
P. multocida also produce lipases, which may also be potential virulence factors.
It is recovered from a wide range of sporadic infections in many other species, including laboratory animals, dogs, cats, and other
mammals. Mouse, pigeon & rabbit are the most sensitive to experimental infection. Guinea pig is resistant.
It is zoonotic pathogen, most human infections result from animal bites;can be associated with necrotizing fasciitis, lung abscesses,
endocarditis, meningitis, pneumonia, peritonitis, septicemia, tubo-ovarian abscesses.
  1. R. Mutters, H. Christensen, M. Bisgaard, 2004. Genus I. Pasteurella. In:  Bergey’s Manual of Systematic Bacteriology, Second
    edition,Vol two, part B, George M. Garrity (Editor-in-Chief),   pp. 857-866.
  2. W.M. Janda, R. Mutters, 2006. Pasteurella, Mannheimia, Actinobacillus, Eikenella, Kingella, Capnocytophaga, and other
    miscellaneous Gram-negative rods. In: Topley & Wilson’s Microbiology and Microbial Infections, 10 edition, Vol. 2, Bacteriology,
    Edward Arnold Ltd.
  3. H. Raducanescu, R. Dorobantu, 1985. Genul Pasteurella. In: Bacteriologie medicala, vol II, v. Bilbiie, N. Pozsgi (sub redactia), Ed.
    Madicala, Bucuresti,193-203.
  4. H. Raducanescu, V.Bica-Popii,1986. Bacteriologie veterinara, Ed. Ceres, Bucuresti,225-232.
  5. Mihancea si colab., 1999. Identificarea bacililor Gram-negativi aerobi sau facultativ anaerobi pretentiosi nutritiv. In: Tratat de
    microbiologie clinica, D. Buiuc, M. Negut, Ed. Medicala, Bucuresti, 840-849.
  6. J. G.Holt et al., 1994. Begey’s manual of Determinative Bacteriology, 9-edition, Williams & Wilkins.
Nitrate reduction, oxidase, alkaline phosphatase, catalase, indole, ornithine
decarboxylase,  D(+) glucose acid, manitol, D(+) galactose, D(+) mannose, D(-)
fructose, sucrose (saccharose) - positive.
Gelatinase, Voges-Proskauer, urease, arginine dehydrolase, lysine decarboxylase,
xylitol, L(+) arabinose, meso-inositol, raffinose, esculin, salicin, cellobiose, lactose,
ONPG, gas from D(+) glucose, L(+) rhamnose, L(-) sorbose, maltose, inulin, D(+)
melibiose, dextrin - negative.
2S variable (negative on TSI, positive on other media);
Glycerol & D(+)arabinose - variable.

Differences between subspecies:
P.m.gallicida - variable
P.m. ssp. multocida  & septica - positive
P.m.ssp.multocida - negative
P.m. ssp. gallicida - positive
P.m.ssp.septica - negative.
D(-) sorbitol:
P.m.ssp.multocida - positive
P.m. ssp. gallicida - positive
P.m.ssp.septica - negative
L(-) fucose :
P.m.ssp.multocida - variable
P.m. ssp. gallicida - negative
P.m.ssp.septica - variable
trehalose :
P.m.ssp.multocida - variable
P.m. ssp. gallicida - negative
P.m.ssp.septica positive
α-glucosidase (PNPG) :
P.m.ssp.multocida - variable
P.m. ssp. gallicida - negative
P.m.ssp.septica - positive
Pasteurella multocida
(c) Costin Stoica
Culture media
Biochemical tests
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