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Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2004 Sep;54(Pt 5):1543-51.

Mycobacterium parascrofulaceum sp. nov., novel slowly growing, scotochromogenic clinical isolates related to Mycobacterium simiae.

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  • 1National Reference Centre for Mycobacteriology, National Microbiology Laboratory, Health Canada, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.


A group of pigmented, slowly growing mycobacteria identified by 16S rRNA gene sequencing as 'MCRO 33' (GenBank accession no. AF152559) have been isolated from several clinical specimens in various laboratories across Canada. Genotypically, the organism is most closely related to Mycobacterium simiae. However, it presents with a similar phenotypic profile to Mycobacterium scrofulaceum. Several reference strains obtained from ATCC and TMC culture collections, previously identified as M. scrofulaceum or M. simiae, have also been found to possess the MCRO 33 16S rRNA gene sequence. Biochemical testing, susceptibility testing, HPLC, hsp65 gene and 16S-23S spacer (ITS1) sequencing were performed on clinical and reference strains to characterize further this unique species. Of the clinical strains, one was isolated from a cervix biopsy whereas all other clinical isolates were obtained from respiratory samples. In one patient, symptoms, imaging and repeat clinical specimens positive on culture for this organism were suggestive of active clinical disease. The description of this species, for which the name Mycobacterium parascrofulaceum sp. nov. is proposed, follows the present trend of a large number of novel Mycobacterium species identified due in great part to sequence-based methods. The type strain is HSC68T (= ATCC BAA-614T = DSM 44648T).

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