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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Bacteria
Genus: Arcanobacterium
Species: haemolyticum

Arcanobacterium haemolyticum is a bacterial species.



It was initially in the Corynebacterium genus.[1]

It was first described by MacClean et al. in 1946 from subjects suffering from sore throat.[2] Controversies regarding classification were solved in 1982 when a new genus, Arcanobacterium (enigmatic bacterium) was created based on its peptidoglycan, fatty acid, and DNA characteristics.

Since its initial description, the spectrum of diseases caused by A. haemolyticum has been expanded to include sepsis and osteomyelitis. Organisms are Gram-positive, [3] facultative anaerobic, catalase negative rods (but transition to the coccal shape occurs as the organism grows) with arrangements described as matchbox or Chinese letters arrangements. Growth is enhanced in blood and by carbon dioxide.


Hemolysis is detected on human blood agar plates, and routine plating of specimens suspected of containing A. haemolyticum on human blood agar is suggested to distinguish it from Streptococcus pyogenes (haemolytic on sheep blood). Pitting of the agar below the colonies also helps in identification.

A. haemolyticum infection is most common in 15- to 25-year-old persons and manifests as exudative pharyngitis and/or tonsillitis accompanied by cervical lymphadenopathy. Symptoms look like those of β-hemolytic streptococci or viral infection. A rash of the chest and of the abdomen, neck, or extremities is seen in 20% to 25% of cases enhancing the risk of diagnostic error as streptococcal infection or penicillin allergy, when β-lactam therapy is initiated without exact diagnosis. [4]

A. haemolyticum often occurs in polymicrobic infections together with typical respiratory pathogens such as streptococci. The isolation of classical pathogens from specimens that also contain A. haemolyticum might be in part responsible for the tendency to miss the organism.

Pathology and treatment

Little is known about the means by which A. haemolyticum causes infection or the associated skin manifestations. The organism is known to produce uncharacterized hemolytic agent(s), a neuraminidase and a phospholipase D (PLD) acting preferentially on sphingomyelin. PLD is known to result in tissue damage, but the role in disease of the cytotoxic effect caused by this extracellular toxin is not established.

Pyothorax has been reported.[5]


A. haemolyticum isolated from humans is susceptible to erythromycin[6] (proposed as the first line drug), clindamycin, gentamicin, and cephalosporins.

The use of parenteral antimicrobial drugs must be limited to serious infections.

See also


  1. ^ Linder R (1997). "Rhodococcus equi and Arcanobacterium haemolyticum: two "coryneform" bacteria increasingly recognized as agents of human infection". Emerging Infect. Dis. 3 (2): 145–53. PMID 9204295.  
  2. ^ MacLean PD, Liebow AA, Rosenberg AA. A hemolytic Corynebacterium resembling Corynebacterium ovis and Corynebacterium pyogenes in man. J Infect Dis. 1946;79:69-90.
  3. ^ "Arcanobacterium Haemolyticum: Overview - eMedicine". Retrieved 2008-12-11.  
  4. ^ "EID V3 N2: Rhodococcus equi and Arcanobacterium haemolyticum: Two Coryneform Bacteria Increasingly Recognized as Agents of Human Infection". Retrieved 2008-11-04.  
  5. ^ Parija SC, Kaliaperumal V, Kumar SV, Sujatha S, Babu V, Balu V (2005). "Arcanobacterium haemolyticum associated with pyothorax: case report". BMC infectious diseases 5: 68. doi:10.1186/1471-2334-5-68. PMID 16144543. PMC 1236925.  
  6. ^ Malini A, Deepa EK, Manohar PV, Borappa K, Prasad SR (2008). "Soft tissue infections with Arcanobacterium haemolyticum: report of three cases". Indian J Med Microbiol 26 (2): 192–5. PMID 18445965.;year=2008;volume=26;issue=2;spage=192;epage=195;aulast=Malini.  


Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies


Main Page
Superregnum: Bacteria
Regnum: Bacteria
Phylum: Actinobacteria
Classis: Actinobacteria
Subclassis: Actinobacteridae
Ordo: Actinomycetales
Subordo: Actinomycineae
Familia: Actinomycetaceae
Genus: Arcanobacterium
Species: Arcanobacterium haemolyticum


Arcanobacterium haemolyticum (ex Mac Lean et al., 1946) Collins, D. Jones & Schofield, 1983


  • Corynebacterium haemolyticum Mac Lean et al., 1946


  • Reclassification of Corynebacterium haemolyticum (Mac Lean, Liebow & Rosenberg) in the genus Arcanobacterium gen. nov. as Arcanobacterium haemolyticum nom. rev., comb. nov. J. Gen. Microbiol., 1982, 128, 1279-1281.


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