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Arcanobacterium species

Paul G. Auwaerter, M.D.
Arcanobacterium species is a topic covered in the Johns Hopkins ABX Guide.

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  • Arcanobacterium haemolyticum: Agent mostly causes pharyngitis or soft tissue infections.
    • The major human pathogen in this group.
    • Gram-positive facultative anaerobe bacillus, not thought to be part of routine human oral or skin flora.
      • Organisms are thin, curved and may have rudimentary branching.
      • β-hemolytic, need to evaluate when catalase-negative and no Lancefield group antigens found (which would indicate non-streptococcal origin).
        • Growth improved on blood-enriched media, 37ºC with 5-10% CO2.
        • Hemolysis best observed on human or horse blood in a CO2-enriched atmosphere.
          • Frequently overlooked on plates with commensal oral flora.
      • Sometimes Gram variable on staining.
      • Formerly called Corynebacterium hæmolyticum.
  • Other Arcanobacterium spp. may occasionally cause human infection.
    • A. pyogenes: mostly an animal pathogen as a major cause of mastitis in livestock, but an occasional cause of human infection including soft tissues and other sites. Most often described in rural environs.
    • A. bernardiae: non-branching on Gram stain. Rare occurrences described causing bacteremia, musculoskeletal and eye infections.
  • Trueperella bernardiae: previously transferred to the Arcanobcaterium genus, but now reclassified. A rare cause of human infection (wound, bloodstream, joint, renal).
    • Considered part of normal skin and oral flora.
    • Also frequently not identified as listed as a Corynebacterium spp.

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Last updated: May 5, 2019


Auwaerter, Paul G. "Arcanobacterium Species." Johns Hopkins ABX Guide, The Johns Hopkins University, 2019. Johns Hopkins Guide, www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540612/all/Arcanobacterium_species.
Auwaerter PG. Arcanobacterium species. Johns Hopkins ABX Guide. The Johns Hopkins University; 2019. https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540612/all/Arcanobacterium_species. Accessed August 21, 2019.
Auwaerter, P. G. (2019). Arcanobacterium species. In Johns Hopkins ABX Guide. Available from https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540612/all/Arcanobacterium_species
Auwaerter PG. Arcanobacterium Species [Internet]. In: Johns Hopkins ABX Guide. The Johns Hopkins University; 2019. [cited 2019 August 21]. Available from: https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540612/all/Arcanobacterium_species.
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TY - ELEC T1 - Arcanobacterium species ID - 540612 A1 - Auwaerter,Paul,M.D. Y1 - 2019/05/05/ BT - Johns Hopkins ABX Guide UR - https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540612/all/Arcanobacterium_species PB - The Johns Hopkins University DB - Johns Hopkins Guide DP - Unbound Medicine ER -