Mycobacterium simiae
Cultural characteristics
Biochemical characters
Phylum Actinobacteria, Class Actinobacteria, Order Actinomycetales, Suborder Corynebacterineae, Family Mycobacteriaceae, Genus
Mycobacterium simiae Karassova et al. 1965.

Synonym: “Mycobacterium habana”.

Mycobacterium simiae complex includes: M. simiae, M. europaeum, M. florentinum, M. kubicae, M. parascrofulaceum, M. genavense,
M. lentiflavum, M. parmense, M. heidelbergense, M. montefiorense, M. interjectum, M. saskatchewanense, M. intermedium, M. palustre,
M. triplex, M. stomatepiae
, M. sherrisii, and M. shigaense.
Acid-fast, short rods. No cord formation.
Colonies developed after 2-3 weeks incubation are smooth, round and wet. Usually
photochromogenic, but sometimes fails to produce pigment on exposure to light.
Temperature range for growth is 25-37 ºC; optimal growth is at 37 ºC; variable growth
at 42 ºC, and no growth at 45 ºC. Does not grow on MacConkey agar or on media
supplemented with 5% (w/v) NaCl. Tolerates 0.2% picric acid (Sauton agar).
First isolated from lymph nodes of apparently healthy monkeys, later from human clinical samples.
Resistant to hydroxylamine (500 µg/ml), isoniazid (1 µg/ml), streptomycin (8 µg/ml), ethambutol (2 µg/ml) and tiophene-2-carboxylic
acid hydrazide (1 µg/ml). Rifampin (32 µg/ml) gives variable results.
Isolated from cases of human pulmonary disease.
Experimental infection: organisms multiply extensively in organs of mice.
  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.
  3. Tsukamura M. Numerical identification of slowly growing mycobacteria. Microbiol Immunol. 1985;29(11):1039‐1050. doi:10.1111/j.
  4. Tsukamura M. Numerical Classification of Slowly Growing Mycobacteria. International Journal of Systematic Bacteriology, Oct. 1976,
    p. 409-420.
  5. Gurpreet S. Bhallaa, Manbeer S. Sarao, Dinesh Kalrac, Kuntal Bandyopadhyay, Arun Ravi John. Methods of phenotypic identification
    of non-tuberculous mycobacteria. Practical Laboratory Medicine Volume 12, November 2018, e00107.
  6. Koksalan OK, Aydin MD, Eraslan S, Bekiroglu N. Reliability of cord formation in BACTEC 12B/13A media for presumptive
    identification of Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex in laboratories with a high prevalence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Eur J
    Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2002;21(4):314‐317. doi:10.1007/s10096-002-0701-9.
  7. Rastogi N, Legrand E, Sola C. The mycobacteria: an introduction to nomenclature and pathogenesis. Rev Sci Tech. 2001;20(1):21‐
    54. doi:10.20506/rst.20.1.1265.
  8. Fukano H, Yoshida M, Kazumi Y, Fujiwara N, Katayama K, Ogura Y, Hayashi T, Miyamoto Y, Fujimoto N, Hongsheng W, et al.
    Mycobacterium shigaense sp. nov., a slow-growing, scotochromogenic species, is a member of the Mycobacterium simiae
    complex. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 2018; 68:2437-2442.
Positive results for catalase (inactivated at 68°C), alpha- and beta-esterase, niacin production, nicotinamidase, and urea hydrolysis.
Can utilize as sole carbon source acetate and succinate (most strains).

Negative results for arylsulfatase (3, 7 and 10 days), acid phosphatase, semiquantitative catalase test, beta-galactosidase, nitrate
reduction, and Tween 80 hydrolysis. No utilization of benzoate, citrate, malate, fumarate, glucose, fructose, sucrose, ethanol, and

Variable results for pyrazinamidase and tellurite reduction (9 days)
(c) Costin Stoica
Culture media
Biochemical tests
Previous page