- Pleomorphic Gram-positive coryneform aerobic bacteria. Non-spore-forming, non-motile, non-fermenting, and weakly acid-fast on Ziehl-Neelsen smear.
- Appears coccoid in solid media and pleomorphic in liquid media.
- May be mistaken as "diphtheroid" contaminant or a Mycobacterium.
- Grows well on ordinary media, named "rhodo" (red) for salmon color. Mucoid coalescing colonies seen after 4 days growth on solid media.
- Soil inhabitant; infection via inhalation, inoculation or ingestion
- Recognized equine pathogen, foals serve as reservoir and develop pyogranulomatous pneumonia.
- R. equi is an intracellular pathogen and enters the phagosomes of macrophages.
- Virulence plasmids are associated with human, equine, porcine, and caprine (goats) isolates.
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