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A genus of gram-negative, nonmotile, nonsporulating, facultatively anaerobic coccobacillary to rod-shaped bacteria which are parasitic and often pathogens in many species of mammals, birds, and reptiles. It was named to honor Louis Pasteur in 1887. Genetic studies have shown that Pasteurella, together with Haemophilus and Actinobacillus, constitute a family, Pasteurellaceae.
The genus contains at least 10 species. Pasteurella multocida causes hemorrhagic septicemia in various mammals and fowl cholera, and is occasionally transmitted to humans, mainly in rural areas. Human pasteurellosis may include inflammation in bite and scratch lesions, infections of the lower respiratory tract and of the small intestine, and generalized infections with septicemia and meningitis. Pasteurella canis and P. stomatis may cause similar, though generally less severe, infections in humans after contact with domestic or wild animals. Although drug-resistant Pasteurella strains have been encountered, human Pasteurella infections are as a rule readily sensitive to the penicillins and a variety of other chemotherapeutic agents. See Antibiotic, Drug resistance
a genus of nonspore-forming pathogenic bacteria; named in honor of L. Pasteur, who studied them. The bacteria are nonmotile, gram-negative, short (0.3–1 X 0.8–2 μ) bacilli that stain bipolarly—that is, the ends of the cell stain more darkly. On solid nutrient media, pasteurellas form grayish or yellowish mucoid colonies, and on beef-extract-peptone broth they form a grayish film and impart turbidity to the broth. Facultative aerobes, they weakly ferment carbohydrates without forming a gas and have an optimum growth temperature of 37°C.
Individual species of Pasteurella cause cholera in chickens, and pasteurellosis in other birds and in mice, rats, rabbits, swine, cattle, and horses. Pasteurella pestis is the causative agent of plague in man and rodents, including susliks and rats. Plague is transmitted from rodent to rodent and from rodent to man, chiefly by infected fleas.