Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC), a collection of mycobacterial species representing nontuberculous mycobacteria, are characterized as ubiquitous and opportunistic pathogens. The incidence and prevalence of infectious diseases caused by MAC have been emerging globally due to complications in the treatment of MAC-pulmonary disease (PD) in humans and the lack of understating individual differences in genetic traits and pathogenesis of MAC species or subspecies. Despite genetically close one to another, mycobacteria species belonging to the MAC cause diseases to different host range along with a distinct spectrum of disease. In addition, unlike Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the underlying mechanisms for the pathogenesis of MAC infection from environmental sources of infection to their survival strategies within host cells have not been fully elucidated. In this review, we highlight unique genetic and genotypic differences in MAC species and the virulence factors conferring the ability to MAC for the tactics evading innate immune attacks of host cells based on the recent advances in genetic analysis by exemplifying M. avium subsp. hominissuis, a major representative pathogen causing MAC-PD in humans. Further understanding of the genetic link between host and MAC may contribute to enhance host anti-MAC immunity, but also provide novel therapeutic approaches targeting the pangenesis-associated genes of MAC.
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© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Computer Science Applications
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry