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Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2004 Sep;54(Pt 5):1653-67.

Taxonomic variation in the Mycobacterium fortuitum third biovariant complex: description of Mycobacterium boenickei sp. nov., Mycobacterium houstonense sp. nov., Mycobacterium neworleansense sp. nov. and Mycobacterium brisbanense sp. nov. and recognition of Mycobacterium porcinum from human clinical isolates.

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  • 1Meningitis and Special Pathogens Branch, Division of Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.


The Mycobacterium fortuitum third biovariant complex (sorbitol-negative and sorbitol-positive) contains unnamed taxa first characterized in 1991. These organisms can cause respiratory infections, a spectrum of soft tissue and skeletal infections, bacteraemia and disseminated disease. To evaluate this group of organisms, clinical reference isolates and the type strains of M. fortuitum third biovariant complex sorbitol-negative (n = 21), M. fortuitum third biovariant complex sorbitol-positive (n = 3), M. fortuitum (n = 3), Mycobacterium peregrinum (pipemidic acid-susceptible) (n = 1), Mycobacterium porcinum (n = 1), Mycobacterium senegalense (n = 2) and Mycobacterium septicum (n = 1) were characterized by using conventional phenotypic (morphological, physiological and antimicrobial susceptibilities), chemotaxonomic (HPLC and cellular fatty acids) and genotypic [RFLP of the rRNA gene (ribotyping), PCR-RFLP of a 439 bp segment of the 65 kDa hsp gene (PCR restriction analysis) and 16S rRNA gene sequence] analysis, DNA G + C content and DNA-DNA relatedness analyses. The results of these studies indicated that the strains comprised M. porcinum (n = 13), M. septicum (n = 1) and four novel closely related genetic groups within the M. fortuitum third biovariant complex: Mycobacterium boenickei sp. nov. (n = 6), Mycobacterium houstonense sp. nov. (n = 2), Mycobacterium neworleansense sp. nov. (n = 1) and Mycobacterium brisbanense sp. nov. (n = 1), with type strains ATCC 49935T (= W5998T = DSM 44677T), ATCC 49403T (= W5198T = DSM 44676T) ATCC 49404T (= W6705T = DSM 44679T) and ATCC 49938T (= W6743T = DSM 44680T), respectively.

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