Mycobacterium fallax

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Mycobacterium fallax
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Bacteria
Phylum: Actinobacteria
Order: Actinomycetales
Suborder: Corynebacterineae
Family: Mycobacteriaceae
Genus: Mycobacterium
Species: M. fallax
Binomial name
Mycobacterium fallax
Lévy-Frébault et al. 1983, ATCC 35219

Mycobacterium fallax is a species of the phylum actinobacteria (Gram-positive bacteria with high guanine and cytosine content, one of the dominant phyla of all bacteria), belonging to the genus mycobacterium.


Gram-positive, nonmotile and acid-fast rods (0.5 – 1 µm long) except for a small number (less than 20%) of cyanophil forms.

Colony characteristics

  • Large, eugonic, buff coloured and rough colonies (Löwenstein-Jensen medium at 30°C).
  • Cauliflower-like morphology, resembling M. tuberculosis colonies. Cord formation at the edges of colonies (Middlebrook 7H10 agar at 30°C).


Differential characteristics

  • Similarities to M. tuberculosis include colony morphology, thermolabile catalase, positive nitrate reductase; differences are negative reactions for niacin production and rapid growth at 30°C.


Type strain[edit]

  • Isolated from environmental sources in France and the former Czechoslovakia. Strain ATCC 35219 = CCUG 37584 = CIP 81.39 = DSM 44179 = JCM 6405.


  • Lévy-Frébault et al. 1983. Mycobacterium fallax sp. nov. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol., 1983, 33, 336-343.