Corynebacterium spp

Corynebacterium kutscheri is the cause of pseudotuberculosis in rats and mice. It has been found worldwide, but today it has become rather uncommon in laboratory animals as far as these are bred and kept in modern facilities. Infection is normally only observed in rats and mice,49,50 although the organism also has been isolated from guinea pigs51 and hamsters.52 In immune-competent rats and mice, the agent may be subclinical,49,50,53 but it may also cause abscessation in the superficial tissues and pulmonary emboli, while embolization in the mouse affects joints, liver, and kidney,54 known as pseudotuberculosis. Genetics seem to be involved in the susceptibility of rats55 and mice,56 and therefore, mortality varies between infected colonies. Modes of excretion and spread of the agent are not fully known, but, probably, urine and feces from infected animals is contaminated. Transplacental infection has been demonstrated experimentally.57 The prevalence of C. kutscheri within a colony may be less than 5%.

C. renale may cause urinary calculus in young rats.58,59 C. bovis may be isolated from nude mice with scaly and crusty skin, often involving more than 80% of the animals.60-64

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