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Gram-stained photomicrograph depicting numerous "Pasteurella multocida" bacteria
Gram-stained photomicrograph depicting numerous Pasteurella multocida bacteria
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Bacteria
Phylum: Pseudomonadota
Class: Gammaproteobacteria
Order: Pasteurellales
Family: Pasteurellaceae
Genus: Pasteurella
Trevisan 1887

P. aerogenes
P. anatis
P. avium
P. bettyae
P. caballi
P. canis
P. dagmatis
P. gallicida
P. gallinarum
P. granulomatis
P. langaaensis
P. lymphangitidis
P. mairii
P. multocida
P. oralis
P. pneumotropica
P. skyensis
P. stomatis
P. testudinis
P. trehalosi
P. ureae
P. volantium

Pasteurella is a genus of Gram-negative, facultatively anaerobic bacteria.[1][2] Pasteurella species are nonmotile and pleomorphic, and often exhibit bipolar staining ("safety pin" appearance). Most species are catalase- and oxidase-positive.[3] The genus is named after the French chemist and microbiologist, Louis Pasteur, who first identified the bacteria now known as Pasteurella multocida as the agent of chicken cholera.


Many Pasteurella species are zoonotic pathogens, and humans can acquire an infection from domestic animal bites.[4][5] In cattle, sheep, and birds, Pasteurella species can cause a life-threatening pneumonia; in cats and dogs, however, Pasteurella is not a cause of disease, and constitutes part of the normal flora of the nose and mouth.[6] Pasteurella haemolytica is a species that infects mainly cattle and horses: P. multocida is the most frequent causative agent in human Pasteurella infection.[7] Common symptoms of pasteurellosis in humans include swelling, cellulitis, and bloody drainage at the site of the wound. Infection may progress to nearby joints, where it can cause further swelling, arthritis, and abscesses.[6]

Pasteurella spp. are generally susceptible to chloramphenicol, the penicillins, tetracycline, and the macrolides.[6]

The common occurrence of the bacteria is a reason to be medically proactive and defensive (antibacterial treatments are often necessary) if a bite occurs.[8] Several vaccine preparations were used to prevent Pasteurella infection.[9] New regimens for vaccination and vaccine formulation [10][11] showed to be promising for the control of the pathogen.

In animals[edit]

P. multocida is also known to cause morbidity and mortality in rabbits. The predominant syndrome is upper respiratory disease. P. multocida can be endemic among rabbit colonies and is often transmitted through nasal secretions. P. multocida can survive several days in water or moist areas.[12] Pasturella spp. can be transmitted through the bite of a dog.[13] They have also been reported in red kangaroos[14] and potoroos.[15] Pasteurella Bisgaard taxon 45 was identified in late 2023 as the organism that killed nearly 400 elephants in Zimbabwe and Botswana during the summer of 2020[16][17]

Antibiotic sensitivity[edit]

P. multocida is highly sensitive to enrofloxacin, oxytetracycline, chloramphenicol, and ampicillin.[18]

Possible complications[edit]

Osteomyelitis is a possible complication of P. multocida, which can subsequently lead to necrotizing fasciitis.[19]


  1. ^ "Pasteurella". List of Prokaryotic Names with Standing in Nomenclature. Retrieved 2006-04-06.
  2. ^ Kuhnert P; Christensen H, eds. (2008). Pasteurellaceae: Biology, Genomics and Molecular Aspects. Caister Academic Press. ISBN 978-1-904455-34-9.
  3. ^ Health Protection Agency (2007). Identification of Pasteurella species and morphologically similar bacteria (.pdf) Archived 2009-09-22 at the Wayback Machine. National Standard Method BSOP ID 13 Issue 2.1.
  4. ^ "Pasteurella". Introduction To Clinical Microbiology. Archived from the original on 2006-01-16. Retrieved 2006-04-06.
  5. ^ Mark A Marinella, MD. "Community-Acquired Pneumonia Due to Pasteurella multocida" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2007-09-15.
  6. ^ a b c Collins, Frank M. (1996-01-01). Baron, Samuel (ed.). Pasteurella, Yersinia, and Francisella (4th ed.). Galveston (TX): University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. ISBN 0963117211. PMID 21413268.
  7. ^ Collins FM (1996). Barron S; et al. (eds.). Pasteurella, Yersinia, and Francisella. In: Baron's Medical Microbiology (4th ed.). Univ of Texas Medical Branch. ISBN 0-9631172-1-1. (via NCBI Bookshelf).
  8. ^ "In vitro Antimicrobial Susceptibility of Pasteurella Mutocida" (PDF). Pakistan Journal of Agriculture, Agriculture Engineering and Veterinary Sciences.
  9. ^ Ahmad, Ahmad TA; Rammah; Sheweita; Haroun; El-Sayed (2014). "Development of immunization trials against Pasteurella multocida". Vaccine. 32 (8): 909–917. doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2013.11.068. PMC 5941127. PMID 29766005.
  10. ^ Ahmad, Ahmad TA; Rammah; Sheweita; Haroun; El-Sayed (2018). "The enhancement of the Pasteurella's bacterin by propolis extracts". Reports of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. 6 (2): 208–218. PMC 5941127. PMID 29766005.
  11. ^ El-Ashry ESH, Ahmad TA; Ahmad TA (2012). "The use of propolis as vaccine's adjuvant". Vaccine. 31 (1): 31–39. doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2012.10.095. PMID 23137844.
  12. ^ Barbara Deeb, DVM, MS Assistant Professor Dept. of Comparative Medicine University of Washington. "Pasteurella multocida Infection in Rabbits".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)[dead link]
  13. ^ "Human Rabies Prevention, United States, Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices" (PDF). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2008. p. 2. Retrieved April 25, 2017. Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  14. ^ Okoh, A. E. J. (January 1980). "An outbreak of pasteurellosis in Kano Zoo". Journal of Wildlife Diseases. 16 (1): 3–5. doi:10.7589/0090-3558-16.1.3. PMID 7373722. S2CID 40925554.
  15. ^ Wells, Monique Y.; Montali, Richard J. (1985). "Pasteurellosis in Southern Potoroos". The Journal of Zoo Animal Medicine. 16 (1): 21–25. doi:10.2307/20094727. JSTOR 20094727.
  16. ^ Weston, Phoebe (November 2023). "It took years to solve the mystery elephant deaths. Now, the threat is spreading". The Guardian.
  17. ^ Foggin, Chris M.; Rosen, Laura E.; Henton, Marijke M.; Buys, Angela; Floyd, Toby; Turner, Andrew D.; Tarbin, Jonathan; Lloyd, Antony S.; Chaitezvi, Columbas; Ellis, Richard J.; Roberts, Helen C.; Dastjerdi, Akbar; Nunez, Alejandro; van Vliet, Arnoud H. M.; Steinbach, Falko (25 October 2023). "Pasteurella sp. associated with fatal septicaemia in six African elephants". Nature Communications. 14 (1): 6398. Bibcode:2023NatCo..14.6398F. doi:10.1038/s41467-023-41987-z. PMC 10600241. PMID 37880229.
  18. ^ "Pets and Pasteurella Infections". healthy June 27, 2012. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
  19. ^ "UpToDate". Retrieved 2022-10-02.

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