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Mycobacterium fortuitum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Bacteria
Phylum: Actinobacteria
Order: Actinomycetales
Suborder: Corynebacterineae
Family: Mycobacteriaceae
Genus: Mycobacterium
Species: M. fortuitum
Binomial name
Mycobacterium fortuitum
Da Costa Cruz 1938, ATCC 6841

Mycobacterium fortuitum



Mycobacterium fortuitum is nontuberculous mycobacterium. It has a worldwide distribution and can be found in natural and processed water, sewage, and dirt.

It is uncommon for it to cause lung disease. M. fortuitum can cause local cutaneous disease, osteomyelitis (inflammation of the bone), joint infections, and occular disease after trauma. It is a rare cause of lymphadenitis.

M. fortuitum can be a nosocomial (hospital acquired) disease. Surgical sites may become infected after the wound is exposed directly or indirectly to contaminated tap water. Other possible sources of M. fortuitum infection include implanted devices such as catheters, injection site abscesses, and contaminated endoscopes.


Gram-positive, nonmotile and acid-fast rods (1-3 µm x 0.2-0.4 µm). Sometimes long rods with occasional beaded or swollen cells having non-acid-fast ovoid bodies at one end.

Colony characteristics

  • Smooth hemispheric colonies, usually off-white or cream colored. May be butyrous, waxy, multilobate and even rosette clustered (dilute inocula).
  • On Malachite green containing media, such as Löwenstein-Jensen media, colonies can absorb the green dye.


  • Rapid growth on Löwenstein-Jensen media within 2–4 days.
  • No growth at 45°C, but grows on MacConkey agar.

Differential characteristics

  • Differentiation from M. fortuitum subsp. acetamidolyticum by its ability to utilise L-glutamate and its inability to utilise acetamide as simultaneous nitrogen and carbon source. Both subspecies share an identical 5'-16S rDNA sequence. However, the ITS sequences are different.


Type Strain

Strain ATCC 6841 = CCUG 20994 = CIP 104534 = DSM 46621 = IFO (now NBRC) 13159 = JCM 6387 = NCTC 10394.

Subsequently, this species has been divided into subspecies M. fortuitum subsp. acetamidolyticum


  • Da Costa Cruz, J. 1938. Mycobacterium fortuitum um novo bacillo acido-resistente patogênico para o homem. Acta Medica (Rio de Janeiro), 1, 297-301.]


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: Corynebacterineae
Familia: Mycobacteriaceae
Genus: Mycobacterium
Species: Mycobacterium fortuitum
Subspecies: M. fortuitum acetamidolyticum - M. fortuitum fortuitum


Mycobacterium fortuitum J.C. Da Costa Cruz, 1938
Source : Mycobacterium fortuitum, um novo bacillo acidoresistance pathogenico para o homen. Acta Medica (Rio de Janeiro), 1938, 1, 297-301.


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