Proposal to elevate Mycobacterium avium complex ITS sequevar MAC-Q to Mycobacterium vulneris sp. nov

Jakko van Ingen, M. J. Boeree, K. Kösters, A. Wieland, E. Tortoli, P. N R Dekhuijzen, D. van Soolingen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) consists of four recognized species, Mycobacterium avium, Mycobacterium colombiense, Mycobacterium intracellulare and Mycobacterium chimaera, and a variety of other strains that may be members of undescribed taxa. We report on two isolates of a scotochromogenic, slowly growing, non-tuberculous Mycobacterium species within the M. avium complex from a lymph node and an infected wound after a dogbite of separate patients in The Netherlands. The extrapulmonary infections in immunocompetent patients suggested a high level of virulence. These isolates were characterized by a unique nucleotide sequence in the 16S rRNA gene, 99% similar to Mycobacterium colombiense, and the MAC-Q 16S-23S internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequence. Sequence analyses of the hsp65 gene revealed 97% similarity to M. avium. The rpoB gene sequence was 98% similar to M. colombiense. Phenotypically, the scotochromogenicity, positive semi-quantitative catalase and heat-stable catalase tests, negative tellurite reductase and urease tests and susceptibility to hydroxylamine and oleic acid set these isolates apart from related species. High-performance liquid chromatography analysis of cell-wall mycolic acid content revealed a unique pattern, related to that of M. avium and M. colombiense. Together, these findings supported a separate species status within the Mycobacterium avium complex. We propose elevation of scotochromogenic M. avium complex strains sharing this 16S gene and MAC-Q ITS sequence to separate species status, for which the name Mycobacterium vulneris sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is NLA000700772T (=DSM 45247T=CIP 109859T).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2277-2282
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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