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Epidemiology Of Nontuberculous Mycobacteria In French Polynesia

Michael Phelippeau, Djaltou Aboubaker Osman, Didier Musso, Michel Drancourt

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As few data are available in the Pacific countries and territories of the Oceania region regarding nontuberculous mycobacteria, we retrospectively identified 87 such isolates from French Polynesia from 2008 to 2013 by hybridization using DNA-strip, matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) and partialrpoBgene sequencing. PartialrpoBgene sequencing classified 42/87 (48.3%) isolates in theMycobacterium fortuitumcomplex, 28 (32.2%) in theMycobacterium abscessuscomplex, 8 (9.2%) in theMycobacterium mucogenicumcomplex, and 5 (5.7%) in theMycobacterium aviumcomplex. Two isolates were identified asMycobacterium acapulcensisandMycobacteriumcosmeticumby partial 16S rRNA gene sequencing. One isolate, unidentified by MALDI-TOF MS and yielding less than 92% and 96% sequence similarity withrpoBandhsp65reference sequences, respectively, was regarded as a potentially new species. Samples from three patients exhibiting ≥2Mycobacterium porcinumisolates and from one patient with emphysema and a lung abscess exhibiting 2Mycobacterium senegalenseisolates fulfilled the American Thoracic Society microbiological criteria for nontuberculous mycobacterial lung infection. Remote geographic areas, such as French Polynesia, are potential sources for the discovery of new mycobacterial species.