Genotyping and strain distribution of Mycobacterium avium subspecies hominissuis isolated from humans and pigs in Belgium, 2011-2013

Christelle Vluggen, Karine Soetaert, Lucille Duytschaever, Joseph Denoël, Maryse Fauville-Dufaux, François Smeets, Nicolas Bruffaerts, Kris Huygen, David Fretin, Leen Rigouts, Claude Saegerman, Vanessa Mathys

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Mycobacterium avium represents a health concern for both humans and pigs. The characterisation of its subspecies is an important step improving the understanding of the epidemiology and the control of this pathogen. Ninety-two human M. avium strains were selected for a retrospective study. Subspecies determination by rpoB sequencing and IS1245/IS901 analysis showed that 98.9% of Belgian human M. avium strains belong to the subspecies hominissuis (MAH). Some of these MAH strains present particular IS1245/IS901 profiles (absence of IS1245 and false IS901 detection provoked by the presence of ISMav6). In addition, 54 MAH strains isolated from submandibular lymph nodes of Belgian pigs with lymphadenitis were included in this study. Genotyping of human and porcine isolates was performed using multispacer sequence typing (MST). In total, 49 different MST types were identified among pig (n = 11) and human (n = 43) MA isolates, with only five shared by both hosts. Among these MST types, 34 were newly identified. Our findings demonstrate the extensive genetic diversity among MAH isolates. Some genotypes were more prevalent in human or pigs but no correlation was observed between MST type and place of residence or the farm of origin for human and porcine isolates respectively, suggesting an environmental source of infection.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberpii:30111
Issue number3
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • B400-animal-husbandry
  • B110-medical-informatics


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