[Pulmonary infection from Rhodococcus equi after renal transplantation. Review of the literature]

Nephrologie. 1999;20(7):383-6.
[Article in French]


Rhodococcus Equi, a strictly aerobic Gram positive coco-bacillus, is a pathogen for horses and foals. It may induce opportunistic infections and is described in AIDS infected patients. We report the case of a 47-year old man, breeder of horses, with kidney transplant who has presented, 8 years after his graft, an impairment of health, a fever and evidence of pulmonary disease. The pulmonary biopsy under scanner guidance and microbiology study, has displayed the diagnosis of Rhodococcus equi infection. The evolution has been favorable with double antibiotherapy (follow-up 27 months). Ten comparable observations have been published after organ transplantation: (kidney: 8; heart: 1; liver: 1). Pulmonary locations are widely predominant. The animal contact is found only in 30% of cases. The presentation of the sickness has been compared to pulmonary tuberculosis or to nocardiosis, pathologies often observed in this context of immunosuppression. The antibiotic treatment is difficult and should required two bactericidal antibiotics. A surgical lobectomy can be envisaged in case of relapse. The mortality is 30%.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Actinomycetales Infections* / drug therapy
  • Actinomycetales Infections* / etiology
  • Animals
  • Horse Diseases / transmission
  • Horses
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppression Therapy / adverse effects*
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Lung Diseases / microbiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Rhodococcus equi*