Arcanobacterium haemolyticum
Cultural characteristics
Biochemical characters
Phylum Actinobacteria, Class Actinobacteria, Subclass Actibacteridae, Order Actynomycetales, Suborder Actinomycinae, Family
Actinomycetaceae, Genus Arcanobacterium,
Arcanobacterium haemolyticum (Mac Lean, Liebow and Rosenberg, 1946) Collins,
Jones and Schofield, 1983. Type species of the genus.

Historical synonym:
Corynebacterium haemolyticum Mac Lean, Liebow and Rosenberg, 1946.
Gram-positive slender, irregular, bacillary forms on blood agar in the first 18 hours,
arranged in V-formations; cells become granular and segmented and resemble
small and irregular cocci. Non-motile. Non-spore-forming.
Colonies on blood agar are small (0.75 mm diameter) after 24 h, becoming large
(1.5-2.5 mm) after 2-3 days of incubation; colonies are discoidal and slightly raised.
Produce beta-hemolysis. Positive reverse CAMP reaction. Facultative anaerobic,
growth is enhanced in CO
2 atmosphere. Growth  is sparse on ordinary media but  is
enhanced by blood or serum. Optimum growth temperature is 37 ºC.
There are two biotypes, one smooth isolated mainly from wounds and one rough
isolated mainly from human respiratory tract.
Isolated from human clinical samples (respiratory tractus and wounds). It can be isolated in the absence of the disease but it is often
isolated in association with beta-haemolytic streptococci or other pathogens (
Fusobacterium spp., Staphylococcus aureus, S.
epidermidis, Haemophilus parainfluenzae
Resistant to oxytetracycline and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. Susceptible to erythromycin, gentamicin, doxycycline, ciprofloxacin and
It is associated primarily with human pharyngitis and mixed wound infections. Subperiosteal and peritonsillar abscess, osteomyelitis,
endocarditis and septicaemia due to
Arcanobacterium haemolyticum have been reported.
  1. Collins M.D., Jones D. and Schofield G.M., 1982. Reclassification of ‘Corynebacterium haemolyticum’ (MacLean, Liebow &
    Rosenberg) in the Genus Arcanobacterium gen.nov. as Arcanobacterium haemolyticum nom.rev., comb.nov. J. Gen. Microbiol.
    128, 1279-1281.
  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, 602-617.
  3. 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.
  4. Yassin A.F., Hupfer H., Siering C. and Schumann P., 2011. Comparative chemotaxonomic and phylogenetic studies on the genus
    Arcanobacterium Collins et al. 1982 emend. Lehnen et al. 2006: proposal for Trueperella gen. nov. and emended description of
    the genus Arcanobacterium. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol., 2011, 61, 1265-1274.
  5. 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.
Non-acid fast. Fermentative metabolism.
Most results are based on API Coryne and API ZYM (bioMerieux) tests.

Positive results for acid and alkaline phosphatase, esterase-lipase C8, alpha-glucosidase, beta-galactosidase, pyrazinamidase,
N-acetyl-beta-glucosaminidase, acid production from: glucose, glycerol, lactose, maltose, mannose & ribose.

Negative results for arginine dihydrolase, casein hydrolysis, catalase, esculin hydrolysis, alpha-galactosidase, beta-glucosidase,
beta-glucuronidase, gelatin hydrolysis, hippurate hydrolysis, leucine arylamidase, lipophilism, nitrate reduction, pyrrolidonyl
arylamidase, urease, Voges-Proskauer test, acid production from: L-arabinose, cellobiose, glycogen, mannitol, raffinose, L-rhamnose,
salicin, sorbitol, trehalose & xylose.

Variable results for sucrose acidifcation.
(c) Costin Stoica
Culture media
Biochemical tests
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