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Trueperella pyogenes


Synonym(s): Corynebacterium pyogenes, Actinomyces pyogenes, Arcanobacterium pyogenes, Bacillus pyogenes




  • Domain: Bacteria.
  • Phylum/Class: Actinobacteria.
  • Order: Actinomycetales.
  • Family: Actinomycetaceae.
  • Genus: Trueperella.
  • Species: Trueperella pyogenes (T. pyogenes formerly, Arcanobacterium pyogenes).


  • Trueperella: after the German microbiologist Hans Georg Trüper.
  • Pyogenes: meaning “pus-producing”.

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Clinical Effects



  • A commensal of the skin and mucous membranes of many animals.
  • Can also survive in the environment (in a non-replicative form), eg soil for a few weeks. 


  • Assumed to only be able to replicate in an environment that contains ample amounts of peptides, fermentable carbohydrates, hemin and inositol, eg within animal hosts only.
  • Like other bacteria T. pyogenes can form biofilms on mucous membranes, which may also promote infection opportunities.


  • Routes of transmission remain poorly understood.
  • Most infections probably occur via endogenous mechanisms.
  • Exogenous routes have been considered, eg between animals and on infected equipment.
  • Mainly through an injury, eg wounds on skin, teats and interdigital space, bites by flies Cattle flies and larvae: overview, (Hydrotaea irritans), possibly bites by ticks Ticks: overview, and also through the navel.

Pathological effects

  • Suppurative infections.
  • Often associated with other gram-negative anaerobes, eg Fusobacterium necrophorum, Peptococcus. indolicus and Prevotella melaninogenica.
  • In cattle, infection with T. pyogenes is associated with mastitis, in particular summer mastitis, metritis and endometritis as well as liver abscesses and interdigital phlegmon Mastitis: Streptococcus dysgalactiae .
  • Foot rot Foot Rot.
  • Metritis/endometritis.
  • Liver abscesses.
  • Abortion Abortion and stillbirths: overview.

Other Host Effects

  • Inflammation: recruitment of neutrophils, monocytes and macrophages.


Control via animal

Control via chemotherapies

  • Antibiotics: T. pyogenes is generally susceptible to beta-lactam antibiotics, but resistant to sulphonamides, and increasingly so to tetracycline:
    • Beta-lactams.
    • Tetracyclines.
    • Macrolides.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) Anti-inflammatory drugs: overview.
  • Drainage of abscesses.
  • Prostaglandins for uterine infections Uterine infection: overview.

Control via environment

  • Grass management to reduce plants likely to cause wounds to teats.
  • Clean, dry calving areas.


  • Work is ongoing to research and develop vaccines:
    • Liver abscess vaccines containing T. pyogenes and F. necrophorum.
    • Metritis vaccines containing T. pyogenes, F. necophorum and E. Coli.

Other countermeasures

  • Removing cows affected with mastitis from the herd to stop spread.


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Further Reading


Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Rzewuska M, Kwiecien E, Chrobak-Chmiel D et al (2019) Pathogenicity and virulence of Trueperella pyogenes: a review. Int J Mol Sci 20 (11), 2737 PubMed.
  • Wareth G, El-Diasty M, Melzer F et al (2018) Trueperella pyogenes and Brucella abortus coinfection in a dog and cat on a dairy farm in Egypt with recurrent cases of mastitis and abortion. Vet Med Int, 2056436 PubMed.
  • Rogovskyy A S, Lawhon S, Kuczmanski K et al (2018) Phenotypic and genotypic characteristics of Trueperella pyogenes isolated from ruminants. J Vet Diagn Invest 30 (3), 348-353 PubMed.
  • Moreno L Z, Matajira C E C, da Costa B L P et al (2017) Characterization of porcine Trueperella pyogenes by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS), molecular typing and antimicrobial susceptibility profiling in Sao Paulo State. Comp Immunol Microbiol Infect Dis 51, 49-53 PubMed.
  • Wisselink H J, Cornelissen J B W J & van der Wal F J (2017) Evaluation of a multiplex real-time PCR for detection of four bacterial agents commonly associated with bovine respiratory disease in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. BMC Vet Res 13 (1), 221 PubMed
  • Nagib S, Rau J, Sammra O, Lämmler C et al (2014) Identification of Trueperella pyogenes isolated from bovine mastitis by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. PLoS One 9 (8), e104654 PubMed.
  • Zhang W, Meng X & Wang J (2013) Sensitive and rapid detection of Trueperella pyogenes using loop-mediated isothermal amplification method. J Microbiol Methods 93 (2), 124-126 PubMed.
  • Yassin A F, Hupfer H, Siering C, Schumann P (2011) Comparative chemotaxonomic and phylogenetic studies on the genus Arcanobacterium Collins et al. 1982 emend. Lehnen et al. 2006: proposal for Trueperella gen. nov. and emended description of the genus Arcanobacterium. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 61 (6), 1265-1274 PubMed
  • Levy C E, Pedro R J, Nowakonski Avon et al (2009) Arcanobacterium pyogenes Sepsis in Farmer, Brazil. Emerg Infect Dis 15 (7), 1131-1132 CDC
  • Dias C A G, Cauduro P F, Mezzari A & Cantarelli V (1996) Actinomyces pyogenes isolated from a subcutaneous abscess in a dairy farmer. Clin Microbiol News 18 (5), 38-40.
  • Gahrn-Hansen B & Frederiksen W (1992) Human infections with Actinomyces pyogenes (Corynebacterium pyogenes). Diag Microbiol Infect Dis 15 (4), 349-354 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Nagaraja T G (2013) Arcanobacterium. In: Veterinary Microbiology. 3rd edn. Ed: McVey D S, Kennedy M & Chengappa M M. John Wiley & Sons, USA. pp 203-205.
  • Quinn P J, Markey B K, Leonard F C, Fitzpatrick E S, Fanning S & Hartigan P J (2011) Veterinary Microbiology and Microbial Disease. Wiley-Blackwell, UK. pp 245–257.
  • Songer J G & Post K W (2005) Veterinary Microbiology. In: Bacterial and Fungal Agents of Animal Disease. Elsevier Saunders, USA. pp 84–91.
  • CABI Invasive Species Compendium. Website:
  • Veterinary bacteriology: information about important bacteria (online) Trueperella Pyogenes. Website:

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