Mycobacterium abscessus belongs to a group of rapidly growing mycobacteria (RGM) that cause a broad spectrum of infections in humans. In addition, the association of M. abscessus with the cause of community- and hospital-acquired infections has been recently reported. In fact, M. abscessus is known to be the most drug-resistant mycobacterium and naturally resistant to first-line anti-tuberculous drugs, resulting in the limited therapeutic options and a high failure rate of treatment response. Three closely related species; M. abscessus (sensu stricto), M. bolletii, and M. massiliense are currently identified however, consensus on the naming of M. abscessus-related species has not been made to date. We herein discuss the advanced understanding of the virulence potentials and pathophysiological features of M. abscessus to establish novel therapeutic strategies for M. abscessus infection.
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