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Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2018 Dec;68(12):3772-3780. doi: 10.1099/ijsem.0.003056. Epub 2018 Oct 12.

A description of Mycobacterium chelonae subsp. gwanakae subsp. nov., a rapidly growing mycobacterium with a smooth colony phenotype due to glycopeptidolipids.

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1​Department of Biomedical Sciences, Microbiology and Immunology, Cancer Research Institute, Institute of Endemic Diseases, and Liver Research Institute, Seoul National University Medical Research Center (SNUMRC), Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
2​Department of Laboratory Medicine, Ulsan University Hospital, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Ulsan, Republic of Korea.
3​Korean Institute of Tubercuosis, Chungbuk, Republic of Korea.


Three rapidly growing mycobacterial strains, MOTTH4W, MOTT36WT and MOTT68W, were isolated from the sputa of three independent Korean patients co-infected with Mycobacterium yongonense Type II strains. The 16S rRNA gene sequences of all three strains were unique, which were closest to that of Mycobacterium chelonae subsp. bovis KCTC 39630T (99.9 % similarity). Multilocus sequence typing analysis targeting 10 housekeeping genes including hsp65 and rpoB revealed the distinct phylogenetic location of these strains, which were clustered with M. chelonae subsp. chelonae ATCC 35752T and M. chelonae subsp. bovis KCTC 39630T. Phylogenetic analysis based on whole genome sequences revealed a 95.89 % average nucleotide identity (ANI) value with M. chelonae subsp. chelonae, slightly higher than the 95.0 % ANI criterion for determining a novel species. In addition, phenotypic characteristics such as a smooth colony morphology and growth inhibition at 37 °C, distinct MALDI-TOF MS profiles of extracted total lipids due to surface glycopeptidolipids, and distinct drug susceptibility profiles further supported the taxonomic characterization of these strains as representing a novel subspecies of Mycobacterium chelonae. Mycobacterium chelonae subsp. gwanakae subsp. nov. is proposed and the type strain is MOTT36WT (=KCTC 29127T=JCM 32454T).


Mycobacterium chelonae subsp. gwanakae; Mycobacterium chelonae-abscessus complex; glycopeptidolipid; rapidly growing mycobacteria; smooth colony phenotype


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