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Antimicrobial susceptibility testing of rapidly growing mycobacteria isolated in Japan

BACKGROUND:

Difficult-to-treat infections caused by rapidly growing mycobacteria (RGM) are increasingly observed in clinical settings. However, studies on antimicrobial susceptibilities and effective treatments against RGM in Japan are limited.

METHODS:

We conducted susceptibility testing of potential antimicrobial agents, including tigecycline and tebipenem, against RGM. Clinical RGM isolates were collected from a university hospital in Japan between December 2010 and August 2013. They were identified using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry and the sequencing of 16S rRNA, rpoB, and hsp65 genes. The samples were utilized for susceptibility testing using 16 antimicrobials, with frozen broth microdilution panels.

RESULTS:

Forty-two isolates were obtained: 13, Mycobacterium abscessus complex; 12, Mycobacterium chelonae; 9, Mycobacterium fortuitum; and 8, M. fortuitum group species other than M. fortuitum. Different antimicrobial susceptibility patterns were observed between RGM species. Clarithromycin-susceptible strain rates were determined to be 0, 62, and 100% for M. fortuitum, M. abscessus complex, and M. chelonae, respectively. M. abscessus complex (100%) and >80% M. chelonae isolates were non-susceptible, while 100% M. fortuitum group isolates were susceptible to moxifloxacin. Linezolid showed good activity against 77% M. abscessus complex, 89% M. fortuitum, and 100% M. chelonae isolates. Regardless of species, all tested isolates were inhibited by tigecycline at very low minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of ≤0.5 μg/mL. MICs of tebipenem, an oral carbapenem, were ≤4 μg/mL against all M. fortuitum group isolates.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our study demonstrates the importance of correct identification and antimicrobial susceptibility testing, including the testing of potential new agents, in the management of RGM infections.

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