Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Pasteurella multocida

Synonym(s): P. multocida

Contributor(s): Richard Walker




  • Genus: Pasteurella.
  • Closely related to the genus Actinobacillus.
  • Species: multocida.


  • Pasteurella - after Pasteur.
  • Multocida: L: multus - many; cida - to kill; multocida - many-killing, ie pathogenic for many animals.

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Clinical Effects



  • Carried on the mucous membranes of susceptible host species. Widespread in carnivores.


  • Multiplies on mucous membranes of host.


  • Usually via the respiratory tract.

Pathological effects

  • 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 and virulence is enhanced by transmission.

Diseases caused

  • Serogroup A:
    • Pneumonia Pneumonia or suppurative conditions, eg abscesses Abscess, 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).
    • 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.


Control via chemotherapies

  • Most strains of P. multocida are sensitive to penicillin Benzylpenicillin.
  • Plasmid-based resistances to many commonly used antibiotics is widely found.


  • Killed vaccine available for cattle, poultry and pigs.


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Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Mohan K, Sadza M, Madsen M et al (1994) Phenotypic characterisation of Zimbabwean isolates of Pasturella multocida. Vet Microbiol 38 (4), 351-357 PubMed.
  • Collins F M (1977) Mechanisms of acquired resistance to Pasturella multocida infection: a review. Cornell Vet 67 (1), 103-138 PubMed.