Mycobacterium asiaticum

Mycobacterium asiaticum is a slowly growing photochromogenic mycobacterium first isolated from monkeys in 1965. M. asiaticum can, but rarely, causes human pulmonary disease.



  • Gram-positive, nonmotile, acid-fast, coccoid rods.

Colony characteristics

  • Dysgonic and yellow photochromogenic (pigment not produced in the dark) colonies.


Differential characteristics

  • Unique 16S rRNA sequence.
  • Biochemically M. asiaticum (photochromogenic) and Mycobacterium gordonae (scotochromogenic) can only be differentiated by the mode of pigmentation.


  • Rarely causes human pulmonary disease.

Type strain[edit]

  • First isolated from monkeys in 1965.
  • Strain ATCC 25276 = CCUG 29115 = CIP 106809 = DSM 44297 = JCM 6409.


  • SKERMAN (V.B.D.), McGOWAN (V.) and SNEATH (P.H.A.) (editors): Approved Lists of Bacterial Names. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol., 1980, 30, 225-420. [WEISZFEILER (J.), KARASSEVA (G.V.) and KARCZAG (E.): A new Mycobacterium species: Mycobacterium asiaticum n. sp. Acta Microbiologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae, 1971, 18, 247-252. PMID 5006093

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