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Int J Med Microbiol. 2014 Nov;304(8):941-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ijmm.2014.06.001. Epub 2014 Jun 28.

Genetic characterization of German Mycobacterium avium strains isolated from different hosts and specimens by multilocus sequence typing.

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Research Center Borstel, National Reference Center for Mycobacteria, Parkallee 18, 23845 Borstel, Germany.
Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut (Federal Research Institute for Animal Health), Institute of Molecular Pathogenesis, Naumburger Str. 96a, 07743 Jena, Germany.
Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, Diedersdorfer Weg 1, 12277 Berlin, Germany.
Robert Koch Institute - Division 16 Mycotic and Parasitic Agents and Mycobacteria, Nordufer 20, 13353 Berlin, Germany.
Research Center Borstel, National Reference Center for Mycobacteria, Parkallee 18, 23845 Borstel, Germany. Electronic address:


Infections caused by Mycobacterium avium and its subspecies are reported as emerging disease in many countries worldwide. In our study we applied the multilocus sequence typing technology to 98 German M. avium strains originating from different hosts and specimens to examine the degree of the genetic diversity. By MLST, 80% of strains were identified as subspecies 'M. avium hominissuis', and 20% as subspecies M. avium avium/M. avium silvaticum. Distinctly different MLST profiles were identified for both subspecies. Based on the analysis of 4 and 5 loci, 87 and 106 SNPs and 1 codon deletion could be detected, respectively, resulting in 40 different strain profiles. Twelve out of these have recently been described for strains coming from different countries, yet in our study, additional new strain profiles (n=28) were found. The high degree of diversity within 'M. avium subsp. hominissuis' as well as the relatedness of human, porcine and environmental strains could be confirmed by IS1245 RFLP fingerprinting. The detection of ISMav6 and hsp65 code 15 in one adult patient strain being positive for IS901, but displaying 'M. avium subsp. hominissuis' MLST profile revealed that PCR for detection of IS901 is not a definitive proof of M. avium subsp. avium/M. avium subsp. silvaticum.


Lymphadenitis; MLST; Multilocus sequence typing; Mycobacterium avium; Mycobacterium avium avium; Mycobacterium avium hominissuis

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