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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


Fabre, Valeria. "Rhodococcus Equi." Johns Hopkins ABX Guide, The Johns Hopkins University, 2016. Johns Hopkins Guide, www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540477/all/Rhodococcus_equi.
Fabre V. Rhodococcus equi. Johns Hopkins ABX Guide. The Johns Hopkins University; 2016. https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540477/all/Rhodococcus_equi. Accessed June 24, 2019.
Fabre, V. (2016). Rhodococcus equi. In Johns Hopkins ABX Guide. Available from https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540477/all/Rhodococcus_equi
Fabre V. Rhodococcus Equi [Internet]. In: Johns Hopkins ABX Guide. The Johns Hopkins University; 2016. [cited 2019 June 24]. Available from: https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540477/all/Rhodococcus_equi.
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