Mycobacterium microti

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Mycobacterium microti
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Bacteria
Phylum: Actinobacteria
Order: Actinomycetales
Suborder: Corynebacterineae
Family: Mycobacteriaceae
Genus: Mycobacterium
Species: M. microti
Binomial name
Mycobacterium microti
Reed 1957, ATCC 19422

Mycobacterium microti

  • Member of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC)
  • Also known as the 'Vole bacillus'
  • Etymology: microtus is a genus that includes small field rodents such as the vole. This mycobacterium species was first described as a pathogen of field voles in England [1]


Gram-positive, nonmotile, acid-fast rods.

Colony characteristics

  • Variable colony morphology, buff in colour, either rough or smooth.


  • Slow growth on glycerol-free egg media at 37 °C often requiring incubation for 28–60 days. May adapt tolerance to glycerol. May fail to grow in liquid media.
  • Usually susceptible to the first line anti tuberculosis antibiotics isoniazid, ethambutol, rifampin, streptomycin and pyrazinamide.

Differential characteristics

Commercially available nucleic acid hybridisation assays are widely used to identify members of the M. tuberculosis complex..

Differentiation between individual members of the M tuberculosis complex is possible using a variety of molecular techniques, and individual strains within a species may be further distinguished using a variety of molecular typing methods.


Cause of naturally acquired generalized tuberculosis in voles and other mammals, including cats and new world camelids such as llamas. Human infections are rare, but do occur in both immunocompromised and apparently immunocompetent patients.,[2][3]

Type strain[edit]

Strain ATCC 19422 = CIP 104256 = NCTC 8710.


  1. ^ Wells, A Q (1937). "Tuberculosis in wild voles". Lancet. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(00)83505-0. 
  2. ^ Emmanuel, FX (Dec 2007). "Human and animal infections with Mycobacterium microti, Scotland". Emerg Infect Dis. 13: 1924–1927. doi:10.3201/eid1312.061536. Retrieved 26 August 2015. 
  3. ^ van Soolingen, D (Jul 1998). "Diagnosis of Mycobacterium microti infections among humans by using novel genetic markers". J Clin microbiol. 36: 1840–5. PMC 104938Freely accessible. PMID 9650922.