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Ann Clin Microbiol Antimicrob. 2013 Nov 21;12:33. doi: 10.1186/1476-0711-12-33.

Distribution of nontuberculous Mycobacteria strains.

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  • 1Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Ondokuz Mayis University, Samsun, Turkey.



Mycobacteria other than tuberculosis (MOTT) cause increasingly serious infections especially in immunosuppressive patients by direct transmission from the environment or after colonization. However, identification of these species is difficult because of the cost and difficulties in defining to species level. Identification and distribution of these species can help clinician in the choice of treatment.


A total of 90 MOTT strains obtained from four different centers were included in the study. These strains were identified by sequence analysis of 16S rRNA and Hsp65 genetic regions.


Accordingly, within the 90 MOTT strains, 17 different species were identified. In order of frequency, these species were M. gordonea (n = 21), M. abscessus (n = 13), M. lentiflavum (n = 9), M. fortuitum (n = 8), M. intracellulare (n = 6), M. kumamotonense (n = 6), M. neoaurum (n = 5), M. chimaera (n = 5), M. alvei (n = 5), M. peregrinum (n = 3), M. canariasense (n = 3), M. flavescens (n = 1), M. mucogenicum (n = 1), M. chelona (n = 1), M. elephantis (n = 1), M. terrae (n = 1) and M. xenopi (n = 1). Most frequently identified MOTT species according to the geographical origin were as follows: M. abscessus was the most common species either in Istanbul or Malatya regions (n = 6, n = 6, consequently). While M. kumamotonense was the most frequent species isolated from Ankara region (n = 6), M. gordonea was the most common for Samsun region (n = 14).


Our study revealed that frequency of MOTT varies depending on the number of clinical samples and that frequency of these species were affected by the newly identified species as a result of the use of novel molecular methods. In conclusion, when establishing diagnosis and treatment methods, it is important to know that infections caused by unidentified MOTT species may vary according to the regions in Turkey. The results of the study showed that there were differences in the frequency of MOTT species in the different geographical regions of Turkey.

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