Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Pasteurella multocida

Synonym(s): P. multocida

Contributor(s): Susan Dawson, Richard Walker




  • Family:Pasteurellaceae.
  • Genus:Pasteurella.
  • Closely related to the generaActinobacillusandHemophilus.


  • Pasteurella- after Louis Pasteur (1822-1895).
  • Multocida: L:multus- much, many;cidere- to kill; ie pathogenic for many animals.

Active Forms

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Clinical Effects



  • Carried on mucous membranes of dogs, cattle and cats.


  • Multiplies on mucous membranes of host.


  • Usually via the respiratory tract.

Pathological effects

  • Antibodies are protective against hemorrhagic septicemia in cattle, but little is known about immunity in other species.
  • All members of the genus are probably parasites.
  • Stress, eg concurrent viral infection   →   becomes pathogenic.
  • Endotoxins are important in septicemic diseases, eg bovine hemorrhagic septicemia.
  • Thermolabile dermonecrotoxin is important in atrophic rhinitis of pigs.
  • Animal to animal spread usually via the respiratory tract; virulence may be enhanced following transmission.
    diseases caused
  • In horses,P. multocidamay cause lower respiratory tract infection ('transport pneumonia'), often in association withStreptococcus equisubspecieszooepidemicus  Streptococcus spp  . Also reported in an aborted fetus.
  • Serogroup A:
    • Pneumonia or suppurative conditions, eg abscesses, mastitis in cattle, sheep, pigs, rabbits and other species.
    • Fowl cholera.
    • Also found as commensals.
  • Serogroup B:
    • Epizootic hemorrhagic septicemia in ruminants.
    • Also found as commensals.
  • Serogroup D:
    • Atrophic rhinitis in pigs (may be in association withBordetella bronchiseptica  Bordetella bronchiseptica  ).
    • Pneumonia in pigs and other animals.
  • Serogroup E:
    • Epizootic hemorrhagic septicemia in cattle and water buffalo in Africa.
  • Serogroup F:
    • Found in turkeys - role unclear.

Other Host Effects

  • Carried on mucous membranes, especially of carnivores.


Control via chemotherapies

Control via environment

  • Avoid transport stress.


  • Killed vaccine available for cattle, poultry and pigs.
  • Some attenuated, live vaccines used in poultry.


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Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Raidal S L (1995) Equine pleuropneumonia. Br Vet J 151 (3), 233-262.
  • Mohan K, Sadza M, Madsen M et al (1994) Phenotypic characterization of Zimbabwean isolates of Pasturella multocida. Vet Microbiol 38 (4), 351-357 PubMed.
  • Wood J L N, Burrell M H, Roberts C A et al (1993) Streptococci and Pasteurella spp associated with disease of the equine lower respiratory tract. Equine Vet J 25 (4), 314-318 PubMed.
  • Collins F M (1977) Mechanisms of acquired resistance to Pasteurella multocida infection, a review. Cornell Vet 67 (1), 103-138 PubMed.