What Is Mycobacterium Phlei?

Mycobacterium phlei is an acid-fast bacteria in the Mycobacterium genus, of which it is one of 190 species. It is one of the fastest-growing mycobacteria known. However, it is rarely found to infect humans. Unlike some Myocbacteria, it is a nontuberculosis species.

History of Mycobacterium Phlei

Mycobacterium phlei was first discovered by a German microbiologist named Alfred Moeller in 1898. In 1899, the bacteria had its name changed from Timothy Bacillus or Grass Bacillus. The new and current name was given by Karl Bernhard Lehmann and Rudolf Otto Neumann. This has been an extensively studied bacteria studied by numerous scientists.

Symptoms of Diseases Caused By Mycobacterium Phlei

If you are infected with Mycobacterium phlei, you may not experience any symptoms. However, other people infected by this bacteria will have the following symptoms:

  • Persistent cough
  • Excessive weight loss
  • Coughing up blood or mucus
  • Physical weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Fevers
  • Chills
  • Night sweats
  • Appetite loss

How You Can Treat Mycobacterium Phlei

To effectively treat infections with Mycobacterium phlei, anti-mycobacterial therapy should be undertaken. This should include the use of multiple antibiotics in order to definitely eliminate the infection in its entirety.


This bacteria is rarely infecting humans. It is usually not pathogenic, and has only been found to infect four humans in all of the documented medical literature.

There are instances of this bacteria being found in unpasteurized milk, as well as contaminated water and dirt. Also, it has the ability to survive for weeks within dust. It may even survive in carpets and on clothes for months.

The way to best prevent becoming infected by it is to avoid contamination in the first place, although this may be difficult to do. However, given its extreme rarity as a pathogen, it is usually not an issue. If you want to take extra precautionary steps, you can wash your hands before and after handling any food, soil, or water that may come from contaminated sources. If you are unable to wash them, you should use an antibacterial gel or spray.


The cure for Mycobacterium phlei involves taking antibiotics to stamp out its presence within the body. However, since it is only rarely deemed a pathogenic bacteria, the use of antibiotics can help very effectively. Multiple antibiotics will likely be unnecessary for most patients who are infected with the bacteria.

How Alliance Enviro-Tech Can Help

Bacterial infections caused by Mycobacterium are not widespread. In fact, they are incredibly rare. However, as with any foreign bacteria, it is a good idea to take preventative measures to ensure you do not put yourself at risk of becoming infected.

Alliance Enviro-Tech can disinfect both residential and commercial spaces thoroughly. Our Path-Guard® system and Path-Away Anti-Pathogenic Aerosol Solution® can kill Mycobacterium phlei, as well as other bacteria and viruses, in under five minutes, giving you peace of mind to know your place is a healthier space. Contact us to learn more about how we can help.