This study aims to develop a multilocus sequence typing (MLST) scheme for Mycobacterium abscessus complex for the typing of stains within each species. A total of 89 clinical isolates of M. abscessus complex from 71 patients of 2 tertiary care hospitals in South Korea were included. Forty-two isolates were identified as M. abscessus, and 29, as Mycobacterium massiliense through sequencing of 8 housekeeping genes and rpoB. The MLST scheme identified 26 different sequence types(STs) and 13 different clonal complexes (CCs) in M. abscessus and 12 different STs and 6 different CCs in M. massiliense. The MLST data showed high concordance with the XbaI-macrorestriction patterns of pulsed-field gel electrophoresis in the duplicated isolates. Our MLST schemes could identify different strains of M. abscessus and M. massiliense, and the schemes also showed a reliable reproducibility. Therefore, our MLST schemes may be useful in studying the epidemiology of M. abscessus and M. massiliense infections.
Keywords: Multilocus sequence analysis; Multilocus sequence typing; Mycobacterium abscessus; Mycobacterium massiliense; rpoB.