Mycobacterium branderi from both a hand infection and a case of pulmonary disease

J Wolfe, C Turenne, M Alfa, G Harding, L Thibert, A Kabani
Journal of Clinical Microbiology 2000, 38 (10): 3896-9
Mycobacterium branderi, a potential human pathogen first characterized in 1995, has been isolated from respiratory tract specimens. We report here a case in which M. branderi was the only organism isolated upon culture from a hand infection. This isolate, along with a second isolate from a bronchial specimen, was subjected to conventional identification tests for mycobacterial species. Further analysis by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) of mycolic acids and 16S rRNA gene sequencing was performed, and the antibiotic susceptibility profile was determined for both strains. Biochemical tests and the HPLC pattern were consistent with that of M. branderi and M. celatum, which are very similar. The 16S rRNA gene sequence of both strains corresponded to that of M. branderi and enabled us to confidently differentiate this organism from other closely related species such as M. celatum. This contributes to a further understanding of the status of this species as a potential human pathogen as well as illustrating the need for molecular diagnostics as a complementary method for the identification of rare mycobacterial species.

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