Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae


  • Aerobe or facultative anaerobe, thin, pleomorphic Gram-positive rod.
  • Zoonotic infection more commonly infects turkeys, pigs and other animals than humans.
  • E. rhusiopathiae is the only genus within the species that infects humans.
  • Culture isolation is difficult.
    • A slow grower in enriched blood media with 5-10% CO2.
  • Intrinsically resistant to vancomycin, which commonly might be used empirically unless the organism is appropriately identified and distinguished from diphtheroids (Corynebacterium spp.) and Lactobacillus.
    • The lab can confuse with diphtheroids and coryneforms, but E. rhusiopathiae is distinguished by H2S production.
    • Also usually resistant to aminoglycosides and sulfonamides.

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Last updated: December 11, 2022