Rhodococcus equi infections in immunocompetent hosts: case report and review

Clin Infect Dis. 2001 Feb 1;32(3):E39-46. doi: 10.1086/318520. Epub 2001 Jan 24.


Rhodococcus equi is an unusual cause of infection in humans. Infection in immunocompetent patients is extremely rare-only 19 cases in immunocompetent hosts have been reported. Localized infections represent nearly 50% of reported cases. Pulmonary infections account for only 42% of infections in immunocompetent hosts, compared with 84% of infections in immunocompromised hosts. The mortality rate among immunocompetent patients is approximately 11%, compared with rates of 50%-55% among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients and 20%-25% among non-HIV-infected immunocompromised patients. Treatment of infections in immunocompetent hosts depends on the site of infection. Serious infections need to be treated with combinations of parenteral antibiotics, followed by combinations of oral antibiotics. Surgical treatment is necessary for certain types of local infections. We report a pulmonary infection due to R. equi in an immunocompetent patient, and we review all reported cases of R. equi infection in immunocompetent hosts.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Actinomycetales Infections / diagnosis*
  • Actinomycetales Infections / mortality
  • Actinomycetales Infections / therapy
  • Humans
  • Immunocompetence*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Rhodococcus equi / isolation & purification*