|Blood agar plate culture of Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae|
Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae is a Gram-positive, catalase-negative, rod-shaped bacterium. It grows aerobically and anaerobically and does not contain endotoxin. Distributed worldwide, E. rhusiopathiae is primarily considered an animal pathogen, causing a disease known as erysipelas in animals (and erysipeloid in humans – see below). Turkeys and pigs are most commonly affected, but cases have been reported in other birds, sheep, fish, and reptiles. In pigs, the disease is known as "diamond skin disease." The human disease called erysipelas is not caused by E. rhusiopathiae, but by various members of the genus Streptococcus.
It is most frequently associated as an occupational disease of butchers.
Clinical diseases 
In humans, E. rhusiopathiae infections most commonly present in a mild cutaneous form known as erysipeloid. Less commonly, it can result in sepsis; this scenario is often associated with endocarditis.
Laboratory assays 
Laboratory smears show Gram-positive rods (though Gram stain has low sensitivity for this microbe). It is non-motile, catalase-negative, microaerophilic, capnophilic, and non-spore-forming. It can also produce H2S (gas), which is a unique characteristic for a Gram-positive bacillus.
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