Rhodococcus equi is a topic covered in the Johns Hopkins HIV Guide.

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  • Pleomorphic gram-positive coryneform (’little rod’ from Greek koryne = club) aerobic bacteria. Non-spore-forming, non-motile, non-fermenting 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-colored. 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 persists and multiplies inside macrophages.

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Last updated: October 3, 2015