What Is Mycobacterium Smegmatis?

Mycobacterium smegmatis is an acid-fast bacteria in the Mycobacterium genus, of which it is one of 190 species. This bacteria is usually not known to be pathogenic. However, there are some highly rare cases in which it can cause disease in humans. It is a common microorganism that has become one of close biological study due to it being easy to culture. It also reproduces rapidly. This bacteria is able to tolerate a wide range of temperatures. It also survives in conditions where there is nitrogen, carbon, and phosphorus.

History of Mycobacterium Smegmatis

This bacteria was first discovered in 1884 by Lustgarten, who found it in syphilitic chancres within humans. A little later on, it was also found in the natural secretions of human genitals called smegma, after which it is named. It is believed that if further studies are done on it, perhaps some of the oldest diseases to afflict humans will finally become curable.

Symptoms of Diseases Caused By Mycobacterium Smegmatis

Mycobacterium smegmatis is essentially harmless to most humans. If it is ingested, or enters the body in some way, it is usually expelled quickly. However, those who have weakened immune systems or are suffering from severe medical conditions may experience milk symptoms including the following:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Aching muscles
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea

How You Can Treat Mycobacterium Smegmatis

To effectively treat infections with Mycobacterium smegmatis, anti-mycobacterial therapy should be undertaken. This usually does not need multiple antibiotics given its generally harmless nature.


This bacteria is rarely infecting humans. It is usually not pathogenic, and has virtually never been documented as infecting humans.

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 smegmatis 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 smegmatis, 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.