Novel mutations associated with clofazimine resistance in mycobacterium abscessus

Yuanyuan Chen, Jiazhen Chen, Shuo Zhang, Wanliang Shi, Wenhong Zhang, Min Zhu, Ying Zhang

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11 Scopus citations


Mycobacterium abscessus is a major nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) pathogen and is responsible for about 80% of all pulmonary infections caused by rapidly growing mycobacteria. Clofazimine is an effective drug active against M. abscessus, but the mechanism of resistance to clofazimine in M. abscessus is unknown. To investigate the molecular basis of clofazimine resistance in M. abscessus, we isolated 29 M. abscessus mutants resistant to clofazimine and subjected them to whole-genome sequencing to identify possible mutations associated with clofazimine resistance. We found that mutations in the MAB_2299c gene (which encodes a possible transcriptional regulatory protein), MAB_1483, and MAB_0540 are most commonly associated with clofazimine resistance. In addition, mutations in MAB_0416c, MAB_4099c, MAB_2613, MAB_0409, and MAB_1426 were also associated with clofazimine resistance but less frequently. Two identical mutations which are likely to be polymorphisms unrelated to clofazimine resistance were found in MAB_4605c and MAB_4323 in 13 mutants. We conclude that mutations in MAB_2299c, MAB_1483, and MAB_0540 are the major mechanisms of clofazimine resistance in M. abscessus. Future studies are needed to address the role of the identified mutations in clofazimine resistance in M. abscessus. Our findings have implications for understanding mechanisms of resistance to clofazimine and for rapid detection of clofazimine resistance in this organism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere00544-18
JournalAntimicrobial agents and chemotherapy
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2018


  • Clofazimine
  • Mutations
  • Mycobacterium abscessus
  • Resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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