Mycobacterium parafortuitum
Cultural characteristics
Biochemical characters
Phylum Actinobacteria, Class Actinobacteria, Order Actinomycetales, Suborder Corynebacterineae, Family Mycobacteriaceae, Genus
Mycobacterium parafortuitum Tsukamura 1966.
Rods, 2-3 μm long. Rough mutants form spreading pellicles that contain microscopic
Colonies from dilute inocula on Lowenstein-Jensen medium are creamy or pale
yellow, smooth, moist; growing usually within 3-4 days. Pigment increases markedly
in most strains with further incubation and after exposure to light. Temperature range
for growth is 25-37 ºC; some strains grow well at 45 ºC. Tolerance to 5% (w/v) NaCl is
variable. No growth on MacConkey agar without crystal violet.
Isolated from soil. Susceptible to hydroxylamine (500 μg/ml), ethambutol (5 μg/ml). Resistant to thiophene-2-carboxylic acid hydrazide
(1 μg/ml). Variable resistance to rifampicin (25 μg/ml).
Injection of mice with 2 mg wet weight of cells did not cause any pathology and the organisms were rapidly eliminated.
  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. Tsukamura M. Mycobacterium parafortuitum: a new species. J Gen Microbiol 1966; 42:7-12.
  3. Tsukamura M, Yano I, Imaeda T. Mycobacterium fortuitum subspecies acetamidolyticum, a new subspecies of Mycobacterium
    fortuitum. Microbiol Immunol 1986; 30:97-110.
  4. Julian E, Roldan M, Sanchez-Chardi A, Astola O, Agusti G, Luquin M. Microscopic cords, a virulence-related characteristic of
    Mycobacterium tuberculosis, are also present in nonpathogenic mycobacteria. J Bacteriol. 2010;192(7):1751–1760. doi:10.1128
  5. Schroder KH, Naumann L, Kroppenstedt RM, Reischl U. Mycobacterium hassiacum sp. nov., a new rapidly growing thermophilic
    mycobacterium. Int J Syst Bacteriol 1997; 47:86-91.
  6. Kubica GP, Baess I, Gordon RE, et al. A co-operative numerical analysis of rapidly growing mycobacteria. J Gen Microbiol. 1972;73
    (1):55–70. doi:10.1099/00221287-73-1-55
  7. Tsukamura M, Mizuno S, Tsukamura S. Numerical analysis of rapidly growing, scotochromogenic mycobacteria, including
    Mycobacterium obuense sp. nov., nom. rev., Mycobacterium rhodesiae sp. nov., nom. rev., Mycobacterium aichiense sp. nov.,
    nom. rev., Mycobacterium chubuense sp. nov., nom. rev., and Mycobacterium tokaiense sp. nov., nom. rev. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol.
    1981; 31:263-275.
  8. Tsukamura M, Van Der Meulen HJ, Grabow WOK. Numerical taxonomy of rapidly growing, scotochromogenic mycobacteria of the
    Mycobacterium parafortuitum complex: Mycobacterium austroafricanum sp. nov. and Mycobacterium diernhoferi sp. nov., nom.
    rev. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol. 1983; 33:460-469.
Positive results for arylsulfatase (7 days), nicotinamidase, pyrazinamidase, urease, Tween hydrolysis, acid production from
L-arabinose, myo-inositol, D-mannitol, trehalose, and D-xylose.
Can utilize as sole carbon source citrate (most strains), succinate, mannitol, glucose, and acetate.

Negative results for acid phosphatase, arylsulfatase (3 days), alpha-esterase, acid production from galactose, raffinose or D-sorbitol.
No utilization of benzoate and pyruvate.

Variable results for semi-quantitative catalase test, beta-esterase, beta-galactosidase, iron uptake, nitrate reduction, utilization of
fumarate, malate and xylose.
(c) Costin Stoica
Culture media
Biochemical tests
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