Mycobacterium avium subsp. hominissuis (MAH) is an environmental bacterium causing opportunistic infections. The objective of this study was to identify flexible genome regions in MAH isolated from different sources. By comparing five complete and draft MAH genomes we identified a genomic island conferring additional flexibility to the MAH genomes. The island was absent in one of the five strains and had sizes between 16.37 and 84.85kb in the four other strains. The genes present in the islands differed among strains and included phage- and plasmid-derived genes, integrase genes, hypothetical genes, and virulence-associated genes like mmpL or mce genes.
Keywords: Genome diversity; Genomic island; Horizontal gene transfer; Mycobacterium avium; Virulence.
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