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Chromobacterium violaceum

Chromobacterium violaceum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Bacteria
Phylum: Proteobacteria
Class: Betaproteobacteria
Order: Neisseriales
Family: Neisseriaceae
Genus: Chromobacterium
Species: C. violaceum
Binomial name
Chromobacterium violaceum

Chromobacterium violaceum is a Gram-negative, facultative anaerobic, non-sporing coccobacillus. It is part of the normal flora of water and soil of tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world. It produces a natural antibiotic called violacein. It grows readily on nutriet agar, producing distinctive smooth low convex colonies with a dark violet metallic sheen (due to violacein production). Its full genome was published in 2003.[1]



C. violaceum ferments glucose, trehalose, N-acetylglucosamine and gluconate but not L-arabinose, D-galactose or D-maltose.

Medical significance

C.violaceum rarely infects humans, but when it does it causes skin lesions, sepsis and liver abscesses that may be fatal.[2] Care must be taken because Burkholderia pseudomallei is commonly misidentified as C. violaceum by many common identification methods.[3][4] The two are readily distinguished because B. pseudomallei produces large wrinkled colonies.

C.violaceum produces a number of natural antibiotics:


Infection caused by C. violaceum is rare, therefore there are no clinical trials evaluating different treatments. Antibiotics that have been used to successfully treat C. violaceum include pefloxacin,[5] ciprofloxacin, amikacin,[6] and co-trimoxazole.[7] Other antibiotics that appear to be effective in vitro include chloramphenicol and tetracycline.[8] For theoretical reasons, infection would not be expected to respond to penicillins, cephalosporins or aztreonam, although carbapenems like meropenem or imipenem may possibly work.[9]


  1. ^ Brazilian National Genome Project Consortium. (2003). "The complete genome sequence of Chromobacterium violaceum reveals remarkable and exploitable bacterial adaptability.". Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 100: 11660–5. PMID 14500782.
  2. ^ Sneath PH, Whelan JP, Bhagwan Singh R, Edwards D. (1953). "Fatal infection by Chromobacterium violaceum". Lancet 265 (6780): 276–7. PMID 13085740.
  3. ^ Inglis TJ, Chiang D, Lee GS, Chor-Kiang L (1998). "Potential misidentification of Burkholderia pseudomallei by API 20NE". Pathology 30 (1): 62–4. PMID: 9534210.
  4. ^ Lowe P, Engler C, Norton R. (2002). "Comparison of automated and nonautomated systems for identification of Burkholderia pseudomallei". J Clin Microbiol 40 (12): 4625–27.
  5. ^ (1999) "Two cases of Chromobacterium violaceum infection after injury in a subtropical region". J Clin Microbiol 37 (6): 2068–70.
  6. ^ Ray P, Sharma J, Marak RSK, et al. (2004). "Chromobacterium violaceum septicaemia from north India". Indian J Med Res 120: 523–26.
  7. ^ Moore C, Lane J, Stephens J (2001). "Successful treatment of an infant with Chromobacterium violaceum sepsis.". Clin Infect Dis 32 (6): E107–10. PMID 11247733.
  8. ^ Martinez R, Velludo MA, Santos VR, Dinamarco PV. (2000). "Chromobacterium violaceum infection in Brazil. A case report". Rev Inst Med Trop Sao Paulo 42 (2): 111–3.
  9. ^ Midani S, Rathore M (1998). "Chromobacterium violaceum infection.". South Med J 91 (5): 464–6. PMID 9598856.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Chromobacterium_violaceum". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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