The taxonomic position of members of the Mycobacterium abscessus complex has been the subject of intensive investigation and, in some aspects confusion, in recent years as a result of varying approaches to genetic data interpretation. Currently, the former species Mycobacterium massiliense and Mycobacterium bolletii are grouped together as Mycobacterium abscessus subsp. bolletii. They differ greatly, however, as the former M. bolletii has a functional erm(41) gene that confers inducible resistance to macrolides, the primary therapeutic antimicrobials for M. abscessus, while in the former M. massiliense the erm(41) gene is non-functional. Furthermore, previous whole genome studies of the M. abscessus group support the separation of M. bolletii and M. massiliense. To shed further light on the population structure of Mycobacterium abscessus, 43 strains and three genomes retrieved from GenBank were subjected to pairwise comparisons using three computational approaches: verage ucleotide dentity, enome to enome istance and single nucleotide polymorphism analysis. The three methods produced overlapping results, each demonstrating three clusters of strains corresponding to the same number of taxonomic entities. The distances were insufficient to warrant distinction at the species level, but met the criteria for differentiation at the subspecies level. Based on prior erm(41)-related phenotypic data and current genomic data, we conclude that the species M. abscessus encompasses, in adjunct to the presently recognized subspecies M. abscessus subsp. abscessus and M. abscessus subsp. bolletii, a third subspecies for which we suggest the name M. abscessus subsp. massiliense comb. nov. (type strain CCUG 48898T=CIP 108297T=DSM 45103T=KCTC 19086T). © 2016 IUMS.