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Diseases of Swine 31-1.png
Cellular and colonial morphology of Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Bacteria
Phylum: Firmicutes
Class: Erysipelotrichi
Order: Erysipelotrichales
Family: Erysipelotrichidae
Genus: Erysipelothrix


Erysipelothrix is a genus of bacteria containing three species.[1] "The hallmark of Erysipelothrix is the presence of a type B cell wall, in which the peptide bridge is formed between amino acids at positions 2 and 4 of adjacent peptide side-chains and not, as in the vast majority of bacteria, between amino acids at positions 3 and 4."[1]

The best known species is Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae, which causes erysipelas of swine and other animal diseases. The other two species are apparently not pathogenic.[1] Erysipelothrix tonsillarum was described in 1987.[2] Erysipelothrix inopinata was described in 2004. These two species have been isolated from the tonsils of healthy pigs.[1] The new family Erysipelotrichidae was erected to contain this genus.[1]

These bacteria are Gram-positive. They can be mistaken for Gram-negative bacteria during analysis because they lose their staining easily. They are not acid-fast. They are slender, nonmotile rod-shaped bacteria. They are straight or slightly curved and can appear long and filamentous. They exist singly, in V-shaped pairs, or in short chains. They are aerobic to facultatively anaerobic.[3]