Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex comprises Mycobacterium tuberculosis, M.
africanum, M. canettii, M. bovis, M. microti, M. orygis, M. caprae, M. pinnipedii, M.
suricattae,  M. mungi, M. dassie,
and M. oryx.
According to Riojas et al. (2018), “phylogenomic analysis of the species of the
Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex demonstrates that M. africanum, M. bovis, M.
caprae, M. microti
and M. pinnipedii are later heterotypic synonyms of Mycobacterium

Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) is a live attenuated
Mycobacterium bovis strain used
to prevent tuberculosis and other mycobacterial infections. The vaccine was
developed by Calmette and Gurin and was first administered to human beings in
1921. BCG is the only vaccine against tuberculosis.
Mycobacterium bovis individual cells and cords
(Ziehl-Neelsen staining)
Mycobacterium bovis colonies on Lowenstein-Jensen
medium (old culture)
Thick and wrinkled pellicle production on Sauton
Mycobacterium bovis
Cultural characteristics
Biochemical characters
Phylum Actinobacteria, Class Actinobacteria, Order Actinomycetales, Suborder Corynebacterineae, Family Mycobacteriaceae, Genus
Mycobacterium bovis Karlson and Lessel 1970.

Old synonyms: "Mycobacterium tuberculosis typus bovinus" Lehmann and Neumann 1907, "Mycobacterium tuberculosis var. bovis"
Bergey et al. 1934.
Acid-alcohol-fast, short to moderately long rods. Gram-positive. Nonmotile.
Colonies on egg media are small, rounded, white, with irregular edges and a
granular surface after incubation at 37 ºC for 21 days. Colonies on transparent oleic
acid-albumin agar are thin, flat, generally corded, and not easily emulsified in the
absence of a detergent. On primary isolation, growth is very poor on
glycerol-containing media, although repeated subculture permits adaptation to growth
on such media. Time of growth varies from 25 to 90 days. Growth is improved by the
addition of pyruvate to media. Freshly isolated cultures are microaerophilic; inocula
dispersed into liquid, semisolid, or solid agar media grow within the medium but not
on the surface, thereby distinguishing
M. bovis from M. tuberculosis which is highly
aerobic. No growth in 5% NaCl. No growth on MacConkey agar.
BCG strain grows in 14-21 days, and produce white colonies with irregular edges.
Isolated from tubercles in cattle and from other animals. Sensitive to
thiophene-2-carboxylic acid hydrazide (T2H) (1 mg/l)., hydroxylamine (500 mg/l),
ethambutol (2 mg/l) and isoniazid (1 mg/l).
Causes tuberculosis in cattle and other ruminants, man and other primates, swine,
carnivores including cats and dogs, swine, parrots and possibly other birds.
Generally is more pathogenic for animals than
Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
Experimental infection: highly pathogenic for calves, guinea pigs, and rabbits,
moderately pathogenic for hamsters and mice, low pathogenic for cats, dogs, horses,
and rats and not pathogenic for most fowl.
  1. John G. Magee and Alan C. Ward 2012. Family III. Mycobacteriaceae Chester 1897, 63AL in Bergey’s Manual of Systematic
    Bacteriology, Volume Five The Actinobacteria, Part A, Michael Goodfellow & al. (editors), 312-375.
  2. Loredana Gabriela Popa, Mircea Ioan Popa 2009. Identificarea bacililor acido-rezistenti in: Tratat de microbiologie clinica, Dumitru
    Buiuc, Marian Negut, ed. a III-a, Editura Medicala, 881-890, ISBN (13) 978-973-39-0593-6.
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    non-tubercular mycobacteria by nested multiplex PCR targeting IS6110, MTP40 and 32kD alpha antigen encoding gene
    fragments. BMC Infect Dis. 2016;16:123. Published 2016 Mar 12. doi:10.1186/s12879-016-1450-1.
  4. Marco A. Riojas, Katya J. McGough, Cristin J. Rider-Riojas, Nalin Rastogi and Manzour Hernando Hazbón. Phylogenomic analysis
    of the species of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex demonstrates that Mycobacterium africanum, Mycobacterium bovis,
    Mycobacterium caprae, Mycobacterium microti and Mycobacterium pinnipedii are later heterotypic synonyms of Mycobacterium
    tuberculosis. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2018 Jan;68(1):324-332. doi: 10.1099/ijsem.0.002507.
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    analysis of a novel non-tuberculous mycobacterium clinical isolate with nine-antibiotic resistance. Clin Microbiol Infect 2013; 19:
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Positive results for acid phosphatase, alpha-esterase, tellurite reduction and urease.

Negative results for catalase (inactivated at 68 ºC), semiquantitative catalase test, iron
absorption (7 days), niacin production, nitrate reduction, nicotinamidase,
pyrazinamidase, Tween 80 hydrolysis, succinate an malate utilization.
No utilization as sole carbon source of acetate, citrate, succinate, malate, pyruvate,
benzoate, fumarate, glucose, fructose, sucrose ethanol, and propanol.
(c) Costin Stoica
Culture media
Biochemical tests
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