Arcanobacterium spp

From Cow
Typical small, grey-white, convex colonies characteristic of Arcanobacterium spp

Arcanobacterium spp (formerly Actinomyces spp) are a Gram-negative bacteria which often causes vegetative endocarditis, puerperal metritis and mastitis[1] in cattle worldwide[2].

Species which have been identified as pathogenic in cattle include:

  • Arcanobacterium pyogenes (previously Corynebacterium pyogenes or Actinomyces pyogenes)[3]
  • Arcanobacterium (Trueperella) abortisuis[4]
  • Arcanobacterium pluranimalium[5]

Arcanobacterium pyogenes sometimes produces multiple, nodular abscesses and these bacteria also result in increased risk of disease and consequent culling of cows from dairy herds. In the cow mammary gland, these bacteria cause release of acute phase proteins, resulting in milk degradation and spoilage[6].

Diagnosis is based on laboratory culture of infected tissue or fluid obtained from diseased cattle[7].

These bacteria are sensitive to broad-spectrum antimicrobial therapy such as trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole and ceftiofur[8].

They are often resistant to ampicillin, chlortetracycline, clindamycin, enrofloxacin, ceftiofur, florfenicol and tilmicosin.


  1. Ajitkumar P et al (2012) Rapid identification of bovine mastitis pathogens by high-resolution melt analysis of 16S rDNA sequences. Vet Microbiol 155(2-4):332-340
  2. Liu MC et al (2009) Identification, susceptibility, and detection of integron-gene cassettes of Arcanobacterium pyogenes in bovine endometritis. J Dairy Sci 92(8):3659-3666
  3. Hertl JA et al (2011) The effect of recurrent episodes of clinical mastitis caused by gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria and other organisms on mortality and culling in Holstein dairy cows. J Dairy Sci 94(10):4863-4877
  4. Hijazin M et al (2012) Identification of Arcanobacterium (Trueperella) abortisuis, a novel species of veterinary importance, by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS). Berl Munch Tierarztl Wochenschr 125(1-2):32-37
  5. Foster G & Hunt B (2011) Distribution of Arcanobacterium pluranimalium in animals examined in veterinary laboratories in the United Kingdom. J Vet Diagn Invest 23(5):962-964
  6. Pyörälä S et al (2011) Acute phase proteins in milk in naturally acquired bovine mastitis caused by different pathogens. Vet Rec 168(20):535
  7. Machado VS et al (2012) A novel diagnostic technique to determine uterine health of Holstein cows at 35 days postpartum. J Dairy Sci 95(3):1349-1357
  8. Brick TA et al (2012) Effect of intrauterine dextrose or antibiotic therapy on reproductive performance of lactating dairy cows diagnosed with clinical endometritis. J Dairy Sci 95(4):1894-1905