E. rhusiopathiae is a non-motile, Gram-positive bacteria that is found worldwide. It has the capability of infecting a wide range of animal species, however it has most commonly been found in environments containing pigs and turkeys. E. rhusiopathiae infection causes the disease Erysipelas in animals----referred to as 'Swine erysipelas' in pigs and 'Turkey erysipelas' in turkeys. Even healthy pigs have been found to harbor E. rhusiopathiae in their tonsillar tissues, in which they shed they then shed the bacteria in their feces and in oronasal secretions. In humans, infection with E. rhusiopathiae causes erysipeloid, a localized cellulitis. Infections in dogs cause endocarditis.
E. rhusiopathiae is ubiquitous and able to persist for a long period of time in the environment---however even in optimal conditions it is not able to survive for any longer then 35 days when found on the surface of the soil.