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J Korean Med Sci. 2008 Feb;23(1):49-52. doi: 10.3346/jkms.2008.23.1.49.

In vitro antimicrobial susceptibility of Mycobacterium abscessus in Korea.

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Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Mycobacterium abscessus is the second most common etiology of pulmonary disease caused by nontuberculous mycobacteria in Korea. Although antimicrobial susceptibility tests are important for appropriate patient management in M. abscessus lung disease, the tests have never been investigated in Korea. Seventy-four isolates of M. abscessus recovered from patient respiratory samples were tested against eight antimicrobial agents following the guidelines set forth by the National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards. Of the parenteral antibiotics, amikacin (99%, 73/74) and cefoxitin (99%, 73/74) were active against most isolates. Imipenem (55%, 36/66) and tobramycin (36%, 27/74) had activity against moderate number of isolates. Of the oral antibiotics, clarithromycin (91%, 67/74) was active against the majority of isolates. Moxifloxacin (73%, 54/74) and ciprofloxacin (57%, 42/74) had activity against a moderate number of isolates. Doxycycline was the least active, inhibiting only 7% (5/74) of isolates. In conclusion, the variations in susceptibility within M. abscessus isolates to currently available antimicrobials suggest that the antimicrobial susceptibilities of any clinically significant M. abscessus isolate be needed individually.

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