Comparative Genomic Analysis Reveals a Possible Novel Non-Tuberculous Mycobacterium Species with High Pathogenic Potential
Mycobacteria have been reported to cause a wide range of human diseases. We present the first whole-genome study of a Non-Tuberculous Mycobacterium, Mycobacterium sp. UM_CSW (referred to hereafter as UM_CSW), isolated from a patient diagnosed with bronchiectasis. Our data suggest that this clinical isolate is likely a novel mycobacterial species, supported by clear evidence from molecular phylogenetic, comparative genomic, ANI and AAI analyses. UM_CSW is closely related to the Mycobacterium avium complex. While it has characteristic features of an environmental bacterium, it also shows a high pathogenic potential with the presence of a wide variety of putative genes related to bacterial virulence and shares very similar pathogenomic profiles with the known pathogenic mycobacterial species. Thus, we conclude that this possible novel Mycobacterium species should be tightly monitored for its possible causative role in human infections.