Microaerobic growth and anaerobic survival of Mycobacterium avium, Mycobacterium intracellulare and Mycobacterium scrofulaceum

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Abstract

Representative strains of Mycobacterium avium, Mycobacterium intracellulare and Mycobacterium scrofulaceum (MAIS) grew at equal rates in laboratory medium at 21% (air) and 12% oxygen. Growth in 6% oxygen proceeded at a 1.4-1.8-fold lower rate. Colony formation was the same at 21% (air) and 6% oxygen. The MAIS strains survived rapid shifts from aerobic to anaerobic conditions as measured by two experimental approaches (Falkinham (1996) [1]). MAIS cells grown aerobically to log phase in broth were diluted, spread on agar medium, and incubated anaerobically for up to 20. days at 37. °C. Although no colonies formed anaerobically, upon transfer to aerobic conditions, greater than 25% of the colony forming units (CFU) survived after 20. days of anaerobic incubation (Prince et al. (1989) [2]). MAIS cells grown in broth aerobically to log phase were sealed and vigorous agitation led to oxygen depletion (Wayne model). After 12. days anaerobic incubation, M. avium and M. scrofulaceum survival were high (>50%), while M. intracellulare survival was lower (22%). M. avium cells shifted to anaerobiosis in broth had increased levels of glycine dehydrogenase and isocitrate lyase. Growth of MAIS strains at low oxygen levels and their survival following a rapid shift to anaerobiosis is consistent with their presence in environments with fluctuating oxygen levels.

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Lewis, A. H., & Falkinham, J. O. (2015). Microaerobic growth and anaerobic survival of Mycobacterium avium, Mycobacterium intracellulare and Mycobacterium scrofulaceum. International Journal of Mycobacteriology, 4(1), 25–30. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijmyco.2014.11.066

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