Mycobacterium intracellulare

Mycobacterium intracellulare
Mycobacterium intracellulare
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Bacteria
Phylum: Actinobacteria
Order: Actinomycetales
Suborder: Corynebacterineae
Family: Mycobacteriaceae
Genus: Mycobacterium
Species: M. intracellulare
Binomial name
Mycobacterium intracellulare
Runyon 1965,[1] ATCC 13950

Mycobacterium intracellulare is a species of Mycobacterium.



"Gram-positive", nonmotile and acid-fast short to long rods.

Colony characteristics

  • Usually smooth, rarely rough and nonpigmented colonies. Ageing colonies may become yellow.


Differential characteristics

  • M. intracellulare and Mycobacterium avium form the M. avium-intracellulare complex (MAIC). A commercially available hybridisation assay (AccuProbe) to identify all members of the MAIC exists. Furthermore, separate AccuProbes are available to identify either M. intracellulare or M. avium.
  • Remarkable ITS heterogeneity within different M. intracellulare isolates.


  • Most frequently encountered in pulmonary secretions from patients suffering from tuberculosis-like disease and from surgical specimens from such patients.
  • When isolated from human secretions, it is often the etiologic agent of pulmonary disease, although frequently isolated as apparent casual resident
  • Biosafety level 2

Type strain

  • First isolated from fatal systemic disease in a child. Found in soil and water.

Strain ATCC 13950 = CCUG 28005 = CIP 104243 = DSM 43223 = JCM 6384 = NCTC 13025.


  1. ^ Runyon, E. 1965. Pathogenic mycobacteria. Advances in Tuberculosis Research, 14, 235-287.
  • Cuttino, J., A. McCabe. 1949. Pure granulomatous nocardiosis: A new fungus disease distinguished by intracellular parasitism. American Journal of Clinical Pathology, 25, 1-34.