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J Clin Microbiol. Dec 1997; 35(12): 3203–3209.
PMCID: PMC230148

A new agent of mycobacterial lymphadenitis in children: Mycobacterium heidelbergense sp. nov.


Nontuberculous mycobacterial lymphadenitis presents an increasing clinical problem in immunocompetent young children. A slowly growing, nonphotochromogenic mycobacterium was recovered twice (isolates 2553/91 and 2554/91) from the lymphatic tissue of a child with recurrent cervical lymphadenitis. It could be differentiated biochemically from described Mycobacterium species, although it most closely resembled Mycobacterium malmoense by thin-layer chromatography and high-performance liquid chromatography of mycolic acids. A striking characteristic of the isolate was its high degree of susceptibility to antituberculous drugs in vitro, including isoniazid. Direct determination of the 16S rRNA gene sequence revealed a unique sequence and positioned the strain phylogenetically on a branch separate from M. malmoense within a group of slowly growing mycobacteria that show a high degree of similarity to M. simiae at the 16S rRNA gene level. Despite 99.6% sequence identity with M. simiae at the 16S rRNA gene level, DNA-DNA hybridization studies (hydroxyapatite method) demonstrated DNA relatedness of less than 40%. We conclude that this organism is a new species for which we propose the name M. heidelbergense. A culture of the type strain, strain 2554/91, has been deposited in the American Type Culture Collection as strain ATCC 51253.

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Selected References

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