The insertion sequence IS666 was isolated from Mycobacterium avium strain 101. IS666 is a 1474 bp insertion sequence belonging to the IS256 family, that includes IS6120 from Mycobacterium smegmatis, IS1166 and IS1295 from Rhodococcus sp. IGTS8, IST2 from Thiobacillus ferrooxidans, IS256 from Staphylococcus aureus, and ISRm3 from Rhizobium meliloti. IS666 has 24 bp imperfect inverted repeats that fit the consensus described for the family, and generates 9 bp duplications upon insertion into the host DNA with no apparent specificity in the target sequence. In contrast with its two closest homologues, IS1166 and IS6120, IS666 contains a single ORF that would codify a transposase of 434 aa. IS666 is restricted to M. avium, where it is present in 21% of the isolates in a number ranging between 1 to 7 copies.