Mycobacterium lepraemurium

Mycobacterium lepraemurium
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

  • Rough nonchromogenic colonies.


  • 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.

Type strain

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.