Characterization of Mycobacterium Abscessus Subtypes in Shanghai of China: Drug Sensitivity and Bacterial Epidemicity as well as Clinical Manifestations

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The aim of the study was to investigate the epidemic characteristics of Mycobacterium abscessus in Shanghai.Fifty-five strains from 55 M. abscessus pulmonary disease patients were isolated. Drug sensitivity was measured by a broth microdilution method. Subtypes of M. abscessus were identified by DNA sequencing. Multilocus sequence typing (MLST), mining spanning tree (MST), and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) were used to analyze sequence types (ST) and clonal complexes (CC). Clinical manifestations were assessed by CT imaging.We identified 42 A isolates, 11 M, and 2 B-subtypes. A and M were highly sensitive to tigecycline and amikacin (97.6–100%). The A-type easily developed drug resistance against clarithromycin. Both types were highly resistance to sulfonamides, moxifloxacin, doxycycline, imipenem, and tobramycin. MLST analysis identified 41 STs including 32 new STs. The MST algorithm distributed 55 isolates into 12 separate CC. The PFGE analysis exhibited 53 distinct restriction patterns and the M-type was closely clustered according to their ST and CC numbers. CT imaging showed that tree-in-bud and patch shadow were commonly observed in M-type, whereas pulmonary cavities were often found in A-type infection patients (P < 0.001).ST1 in A and ST23 in M-type were the main epidemic strains in Shanghai. The M-type appeared to be prone to epidemic nosocomial transmission.

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