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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.