Pulmonary nocardiosis re-visited: experience of 35 patients at diagnosis

Respir Med. 2003 Jun;97(6):709-17. doi: 10.1053/rmed.2003.1505.


Pulmonary infection by Nocardia is an uncommon opportunistic infection in humans. Thirty-five patients with pulmonary nocardiosis were identified in two tertiary referral hospitals. A retrospective review of the patient characteristics, clinical and laboratory features including antimicrobial susceptibility at diagnosis was carried out. Radiological features derived from chest radiographs and CT scans were also documented. In our population, the predominant risk factors were immuno-compromised state, corticosteroid therapy, and underlying pulmonary pathology. The presenting features were similar to those previously described but disseminated infection was not common. The radiological changes were diverse and non-specific. Nocardia asteroides was the commonest species. Most Nocardia isolates were susceptible to imipenem, ceftriaxone, amikacin, and cotrimoxazole. Co-existing microbial agents are common and reflect the underlying complex disorders.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases / complications
  • Lung Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung Diseases / microbiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nocardia Infections / complications
  • Nocardia Infections / diagnostic imaging*
  • Nocardia Infections / microbiology
  • Opportunistic Infections / complications
  • Opportunistic Infections / diagnostic imaging*
  • Opportunistic Infections / microbiology
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed