The open-ended study of the International Working Group on Mycobacterial Taxonomy is an ongoing project to characterize slowly growing strains of mycobacteria that do not belong to well-established or thoroughly characterized species. In this fourth report we describe two numerical taxonomic clusters that represent subspecies or biovars of , one cluster that encompasses the erstwhile type strain of the presently invalid species “,” one cluster that is phenotypically very similar to and but may be a separate genospecies, one cluster that appears to be phenotypically distinct from but reacts with a nucleic acid probe specific for , and three tentatively defined clusters in proximity to a cluster that encompasses the type strain of . Of special practical interest is the fact that one of the latter three clusters is composed of clinically significant scotochromogenic bacteria that can be misidentified as the nonpathogenic organism if insufficient biochemical tests are performed.


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