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

Autores: García-Coca, M. (Autor de correspondencia); Aguilera-Correa, J. J.; Ibáñez Apesteguía, Arancha; Rodríguez-Sevilla, G.; Romera-García, D.; Mahíllo-Fernández, I.; Reina González, Gabriel; Fernández Alonso, Mirian; Leiva León, José; Muñoz-Egea, M. C.; del Pozo León, José Luis; Esteban, J.
Título de la revista: PATHOGENS AND DISEASE
ISSN: 2049-632X
Volumen: 77
Número: 5
Páginas: ftz051
Fecha de publicación: 2019
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, in vitro and in vivo, in order to assess the different pathogenicity of these two phenotypes. We used collection and clinical strains of Mycobacterium abscessus, Mycobacterium fortuitum and Mycobacterium chelonae. On the in vitro 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 Galleria mellonella 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.