Background: Mycobacterium abscessus complex (MABC) is the most drug resistant of the mycobacterial pathogens. M. abscessus subsp. abscessus encodes a functional erythromycin ribosomal methylase gene, erm(41), causing inducible macrolide resistance. However, some clinical isolates of M. abscessus subsp. abscessus harboring nonfunctional erm(41) were susceptible to macrolide, even after extended incubation of 14 days. Loss of function of the erm(41) genes was associated with a T-to-C substitution at position 28 of the gene (T28C), leading to an amino acid change from Trp to Arg at codon 10. Pulmonary disease caused by M. abscessus subsp. abscessus strains with an nonfunctional erm(41) (C28 sequevar) may be responsive to macrolide-containing antibiotic regimens. Therefore, all M. abscessus subsp. abscessus strains with a functional erm(41) (T28 sequevar) were thought to be resistant to macrolide with extended incubation. Here, we report the first case of pulmonary disease caused by a strain of M. abscessus subsp. abscessus which was susceptible to macrolide due to T19 sequevar of erm(41) gene. Case presentation: A 62-year-old Korean female was referred to our hospital due to chronic cough, sputum, and hemoptysis lasting more than 5 months. The patient's sputum was positive for acid-fast bacilli staining and nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) were isolated twice from sputum specimens. The isolate was identified as M. abscessus subsp. abscessus. The isolate had a point mutation of C → T at position 19 (C19 → T) in the erm(41) gene, instead of expected C28 sequevar of erm(41), and had no rrl mutation. The isolate displayed a clarithromycin susceptible phenotype with an Arg → Stop codon change in erm(41). The patient was successfully treated with a macrolide-containing regimen. Conclusion: This is the first case of pulmonary disease caused by a strain of M. abscessus subsp. abscessus showing clarithromycin susceptible phenotype due to T19 sequevar of the erm(41) gene. The erm(41) gene is clinically important, and non-functional erm alleles may be an important issue for the management of MABC lung disease. The presence of a non-functional erm(41) allele in M. abscessus subsp. abscessus isolates may be associated with better outcomes.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and future Planning (NRF-2015R1A2A1A01003959) and by a grant of the Korea Health technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI), funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (HI15C2778). The funders had no role in the design of the study, the collection and analysis of the data, or the preparation of the manuscript.
© 2016 Kim et al.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Infectious Diseases