Rhodococcus equi

Rhodococcus equi is a topic covered in the Johns Hopkins ABX Guide.

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  • Formerly Corynebacterium equi. Ubiquitous in environment.
    • Pleomorphic, non-motile Gram-positive coccobacillus.
    • Variable acid-fast staining.
    • Organism varies from coccoid to bacillary form depending on growth condition.
      • Solid media: coccoid, salmon-pink color may not appear until 4-7 days after incubation.
      • Liquid media: bacillary, branching.
  • Modes of acquisition: inhalation, local inoculation, or ingestion.
  • Can be overlooked as contaminant diphtheroids and be discarded.
    • Lab should be aware if clinically suspected.
    • Can also be confused with Micrococcus, Bacillus or Mycobacteria species.
  • May cause necrotizing granulomata.

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Last updated: September 25, 2016