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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


Spacek, Lisa A. "Rhodococcus Equi." Johns Hopkins HIV Guide, 2015. Johns Hopkins Guide, www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_HIV_Guide/545179/all/Rhodococcus_equi.
Spacek LA. Rhodococcus equi. Johns Hopkins HIV Guide. 2015. https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_HIV_Guide/545179/all/Rhodococcus_equi. Accessed May 25, 2019.
Spacek, L. A. (2015). Rhodococcus equi. In Johns Hopkins HIV Guide. Available from https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_HIV_Guide/545179/all/Rhodococcus_equi
Spacek LA. Rhodococcus Equi [Internet]. In: Johns Hopkins HIV Guide. ; 2015. [cited 2019 May 25]. Available from: https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_HIV_Guide/545179/all/Rhodococcus_equi.
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