Mycobacterium terrae
Cultural characteristics
Biochemical characters
Phylum Actinobacteria, Class Actinobacteria, Order Actinomycetales, Suborder Corynebacterineae, Family Mycobacteriaceae, Genus
Mycobacterium terrae Wayne 1966.

Old synonyms: "Mycobacterium novum", "Radish bacillus".

Member of the
Mycobacterium terrae complex.
Acid-alcohol-fast bacilli.
Colonies are nonchromogenic, pale buff to white. Visible growth from dilute inocula
occurs on Lowenstein-Jensen medium after 7 days or more. Grows at  22-37 ºC, but
not at 42 ºC. Growth time 10-21 days. No growth on 5% (w/v) NaCl. Variable growth on
MacConkey agar.
Isolated from soil. water, bovine nasal swabs and from human gastric lavage and sputum specimens and considered mainly a
casual resident. One isolate from roach gills (
Rutilus rutilus). Susceptible to ethambutol (2 µg/ml). Usually susceptible to
Streptomycin (2 µg/ml). Resistant to TCH (1 µg/ml), hydroxylamine (500 µg/ml), rifampin (25 μg/ml), and isoniazid (1 µg/ml).
Does not produce local or systemic lesions after intradermal inoculation of 0.1 mg in guinea pigs.
  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. Wayne LG. Classification and identification of mycobacteria. III. Species within Group III. American Review of Respiratory
    Diseases 1966; 93:919-928.
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    Stottmeier. Differential Identification of Mycobacteria VI. Mycobacterium triviale Kubica sp. nov. International Journal of Systematic
    Bacteriology Vol. 20, No. 2 April 1970 PP. 161-174.
  5. Tsukamura M. Numerical identification of slowly growing mycobacteria. Microbiol Immunol. 1985;29(11):1039‐1050. doi:10.1111/j.
  6. Tsukamura M. Numerical Classification of Slowly Growing Mycobacteria. International Journal of Systematic Bacteriology, Oct.
    1976, p. 409-420.
  7. Stephen Berger 2019. GIDEON Guide to Medically Important Bacteria, eBook.
  8. Mrlik V, Slany M, Kubecka J, Seda J, Necas A, Babak V, Slana I, Kriz P, Pavlik I. 2012. A low prevalence of mycobacteria in
    freshwater fish from water reservoirs, ponds and farms. J. Fish Dis. 35:497–504. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2761.2012.01369.x.
  9. Lee H, Lee SA, Lee IK, Yu HK, Park YG, Jeong J, Lee SH, Kim SR, Hyun JW, Kim K, et al. Mycobacterium paraterrae sp. nov.
    recovered from a clinical specimen: novel chromogenic slow growing mycobacteria related to Mycobacterium terrae complex.
    Microbiol Immunol 2010; 54:46-53.
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    54. doi:10.20506/rst.20.1.1265.
  11. Gcebe N, Rutten V, Gey van Pittius NC, Michel A. Prevalence and distribution of non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) in cattle,
    African buffaloes (Syncerus caffer) and their environments in South Africa. Transbound Emerg Dis 2013;60:74-84.
Positive results for acid phosphatase, catalase (inactivated at 68 ºC), catalase (semi-quantitative), beta-galactosidase, neutral red test,
tellurite reduction (9 days), and Tween 80 hydrolysis.

Negative results for niacin production, nicotinamidase, pyrazinamidase, and urea hydrolysis.
No utilization as sole carbon source of citrate, malate, pyruvate, benzoate, fumarate, glucose, fructose, sucrose ethanol, and propanol.

Variable results for arylsulfatase (10 days; negative in 3 days), alpha-esterase, nitrate reduction, and succinate utilization in the
presence of ammoniac nitrogen.
(c) Costin Stoica
Culture media
Biochemical tests
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