Publicaciones científicas

Non-pigmented rapidly growing mycobacteria smooth and rough colony phenotypes pathogenicity evaluated using in vitro and experimental models

01-jul-2019 | Revista: Pathogens and Disease

García-Coca M (1), Aguilera-Correa JJ (1), Ibáñez-Apesteguía A (2), Rodríguez-Sevilla G (1), Romera-García D (1), Mahíllo-Fernández I (3), Reina G (2), Fernández-Alonso M (2), Leiva J (2), Muñoz-Egea MC (1), Del Pozo JL (4), Esteban J (1).

(1) Department of Clinical Microbiology, IIS-Fundación Jiménez Díaz, UAM, 28040, Madrid, Spain.
(2) Microbiology Service, Clínica Universidad de Navarra, 31008, Pamplona, Spain.
(3) Department of Epidemiology, IIS-Fundación Jiménez Díaz, UAM, 28040, Madrid, Spain.
(4) Microbiology Service and Infectious Diseases Area, Clínica Universidad de Navarra, 31008 Pamplona, Spain.


Non-pigmented rapidly growing mycobacteria (NPRGM) are widely distributed in water, soil and animals. It has been observed an increasing importance of NPRGM related-infections, particularly due to the high antimicrobial resistance.

NPRGM have rough and smooth colony phenotypes, and several studies have showed that rough colony variants are more virulent than smooth ones. However, other studies have failed to validate this observation. In this study, we have performed two models, invitro and in vivo, in order to assess the different pathogenicity of these two phenotypes.

We used collection and clinical strains of Mycobacteriumabscessus, Mycobacterium fortuitum and Mycobacteriumchelonae. On the invitro model (macrophages), phagocytosis was higher for M. abscessus and M. fortuitum rough colony variant strains when compared to smooth colony variants. However, we did not find differences with colonial variants of M. chelonae.

Survival of Galleriamellonella larvae in the experimental model was lower for M. abscessus and M. fortuitum rough colony variants when compared with larvae infected with smooth colony variants. We did not find differences in larvae infected with M. chelonae.

Results of our in vivo study correlated well with the experimental model. This fact could have implications on the interpretation of the clinical significance of the NPRGM isolate colonial variants.

CITA DEL ARTÍCULO  Pathog Dis. 2019 Jul 1;77(5). pii: ftz051. doi: 10.1093/femspd/ftz051

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