Phylum Actinobacteria, Class Actinobacteria, Order Actinomycetales, Suborder Corynebacterineae, Family Mycobacteriaceae, Genus
Mycobacterium, Mycobacterium ulcerans MacCallum et al. 1950.
Synonym: the name “Mycobacterium buruli” (not valid) has been used for strains isolated in Uganda.
Closely related to Mycobacterium marinum as by 16S rRNA gene and ITS sequences.
Acid-fast, moderately long rods. Gram-positive staining.
Colonies on inspissated egg medium after incubation for 4 weeks at 30-33 ºC, are
minute, transparent, and domed. On ageing, colonies become convex to flat, with
irregular outlines, and have a rough, yellow surface. Rough, corded colonies develop
on oleic acid-albumin agar. Weak growth is observed at 25 ºC, but does not grow at
37, 42, or 45 ºC, and does not adapt to growth at 37 ºC on repeated subculture (M.
marinum does). No growth on 5% (w/v) NaCl or on MacConkey agar.
Isolated from ulcerative skin infections of humans in Malaya, Mexico, New Guinea, and Africa. M. ulcerans is found in tropical regions
whereas M. marinum is common in temperate climates.
Susceptible to hydroxylamine (500 µg/ml), rifampin (25 µg/ml), and ethambutol (5 µg/ml). Resistant to isoniazid (1 µg/ml), and
tiophene-2-carboxylic acid hydrazide (1 µg/ml).
Produce skin ulcers in humans.
In experimental animals, lesions develop only in cooler parts of the body.
Mice and rats can be infected experimentally; but not fowls, guinea pigs, lizards, or rabbits. Experimentally inoculated rats develop
hemorrhagic necrotic lesions cellular zones with large clumps of acid-fast bacilli in the extracellular spaces and in macrophages.
Inoculation of mouse footpads consistently causes local lesions. Inoculation by the intranasal, intraperitoneal, or intravenous route
does not cause visceral lesions, but a long incubation results in ulcerating lesions in hairless peripheral parts of the body and on the
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Systematic Bacteriology 1978; 28:67-75.
- 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.
- Tsukamura M, Yano I, Imaeda T. Mycobacterium fortuitum subspecies acetamidolyticum, a new subspecies of Mycobacterium
fortuitum. Microbiol Immunol 1986; 30:97-110.
- Tsukamura M. Numerical identification of slowly growing mycobacteria. Microbiol Immunol. 1985;29(11):1039‐1050. doi:10.1111/j.
Positive results for catalase (inactivated at 68 ºC).
Negative results for arylsulfatase (3 and 10 days), catalase semiquantitative test, alpha-esterase, beta-galactosidase, indole
production, neutral red test, nitrate reduction, nicotinamidase, pyrazinamidase, Tween 80 hydrolysis, and urea hydrolysis.
No utilization as sole carbon source of acetate, citrate, succinate, malate, pyruvate, benzoate, fumarate, glucose, fructose, sucrose
ethanol, and propanol.
Variable results for acid phosphatase and niacin production.
(c) Costin Stoica