Mycobacterium lepraemurium

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Mycobacterium lepraemurium
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Bacteria
Phylum: Actinobacteria
Order: Actinomycetales
Suborder: Corynebacterineae
Family: Mycobacteriaceae
Genus: Mycobacterium
Species: M. lepraemurium
Binomial name
Mycobacterium lepraemurium
Marchoux and Sorel 1912[1]

Mycobacterium lepraemurium is a causative agent of feline leprosy.[2] It causes granulomatous lesions, characteristic of the Mycobacterium genus.


Gram-positive, nonmotile and strongly acid-fast rods (3-5 µm long). Slightly rounded ends.

Colony characteristics


  • Growth on inspissated 1% egg yolk medium at 30 °C - 37 °C within 4–5 weeks (using large inocula, confined to a concentrated area of the medium, egg white is inhibitory).


  • Cause of endemic disease of rats in various parts of the world, as well as feline leprosy.
  • feline leprosy is transmitted by bites from rats and other cats.
  • Disease occurs mainly in the skin and lymph nodes, causing induration, alopecia and eventual ulceration.
  • Nodular lesions, involving subcutaneous tissues, may be solitary or multiple and usually confined to the head region or the limbs. Nodules are fleshy and freely movable.
  • Surgical excision of the lesions is the preferred treatment.
  • Only the densely and uniformly stained forms appear to be infectious for animals, in contrast to the degenerate unevenly stained forms.
  • Biosafety level 2

Type strain[edit]

None specified due to difficulties in cultivation.


  1. ^ Marchoux,F., E. Sorel. 1912. Recherches sur la lèpre. Annales de l'Institut Pasteur (Paris), 26, 675-700.
  2. ^ Hughes MS, James G, Taylor MJ, et al. (August 2004). "PCR studies of feline leprosy cases". J. Feline Med. Surg. 6 (4): 235–43. doi:10.1016/j.jfms.2003.09.003. PMID 15265479.