Background: Although fluoroquinolones are considered as alternative therapies of pulmonary Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) disease, the association between fluoroquinolone resistance and MAC genotypes in clinical isolates from individuals not previously treated for MAC infection is not fully clear. Methods: Totals of 154 M. avium isolates and 35 Mycobacterium intracellulare isolates were obtained from treatment-naïve patients with pulmonary MAC disease at the diagnosis of MAC infection at 8 hospitals in Japan. Their susceptibilities of moxifloxacin were determined by broth microdilution methods. Moxifloxacin-resistant isolates were examined for mutations of gyrA and gyrB. Variable numbers of tandem repeats (VNTR) assay was performed using 15 M. avium VNTR loci and 16 M. intracellulare VNTR loci. Results: Moxifloxacin susceptibility was categorized as resistant and intermediate for 6.5% and 16.9%, respectively, of M. avium isolates and 8.6% and 17.1% of M. intracellulare isolates. Although the isolates of both species had amino acid substitutions of Thr 96 and Thr 522 at the sites corresponding to Ser 95 in the M. tuberculosis GyrA and Gly 520 in the M. tuberculosis GyrB, respectively, these substitutions were observed irrespective of susceptibility and did not confer resistance. The VNTR assays showed revealed three clusters among M. avium isolates and two clusters among M. intracellulare isolates. No significant differences in moxifloxacin resistance were observed among these clusters. Conclusions: Although resistance or intermediate resistance to moxifloxacin was observed in approximately one-fourth of M. avium and M. intracellulare isolates, this resistance was not associated with mutations in gyrA and gyrB or with VNTR genotypes.
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