A strain of a novel non-chromogenic mycobacterium was isolated from synovial tissue from a 68-year-old female with bursitis of her right elbow. The slowly growing strain had a unique PCR-restriction enzyme analysis (PRA) profile of the hsp65 gene and 16S rRNA gene sequence in comparison with other mycobacterium species. The most closely related species, as determined by 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis, are Mycobacterium malmoense, Mycobacterium marinum, Mycobacterium ulcerans and members of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex. The HPLC and biochemical profiles resembled those of Mycobacterium gastri, although differences were noted in the peak-height ratio of the HPLC pattern and the nitrate and pyrazinamidase tests. On the basis of PRA, HPLC, biochemical and 16S rRNA gene sequence analyses, the name Mycobacterium lacus sp. nov. is proposed for this potential pathogen. The type strain is strain NRCM 00-255(T) (= ATCC BAA-323(T) = DSM 44577(T)).


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