Nocardiosis: A Neglected Disease

Med Princ Pract. 2020;29(6):514-523. doi: 10.1159/000508717. Epub 2020 May 18.


Nocardiosis is a neglected tropical disease. It has varied geographical presence and a spectrum of clinical presentations. This review aims to focus on the epidemiology of nocardial infections with a systematic approach to their diagnosis and treatment. Nocardiacauses chronic infections and ailments, and may remain cryptic but progressive in its course. Unless suspected, diagnosis can be easily missed resulting in increased morbidity and mortality. Thorough knowledge of local epidemiology, demography, clinical course and presentation, diagnostic modalities, and antibiotic susceptibility patterns of the prevalent Nocardia species is essential to curb spread of this infection. This is a systematic review in which internet search has been done for citation indices (Embase, PubMed, Ovid, and other individual journals) till March 2020 utilizing the following key words "Nocardia," "taxonomy," "prevalence," "clinical features," "diagnosis," "treatment," and "susceptibility." We selected a total of 87 review articles, case series, and case reports all in English language.

Keywords: Antimicrobial resistance; Infectious disease; Pulmonary nocardiosis; Tropical medicine.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Coinfection
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Neglected Diseases
  • Nocardia Infections / diagnosis
  • Nocardia Infections / drug therapy
  • Nocardia Infections / epidemiology*
  • Nocardia Infections / physiopathology*
  • Recurrence
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents