Isolation and Characterization of Nocardia Species from Pulmonary Nocardiosis in a tertiary hospital in China

Jpn J Infect Dis. 2021 May 31. doi: 10.7883/yoken.JJID.2020.1096. Online ahead of print.


The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical features, distribution and antimicrobial susceptibility of Nocardia species isolated from pulmonary nocardiosis cases in tertiary hospital in China. The species were collected from January 1, 2018 to May 31, 2019 and identified using MALDI-TOF MS or PCR. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed using the broth microdilution method. Within the 44 Nocardia species, N. farcinica was the most frequently identified species (n = 36), followed by N. nova (n = 5), N. otitidiscaviarum (n = 1), N. cyriacigeorgica (n = 1), and N. transvalensis (n = 1). The top three predisposing factors of pulmonary nocardiosis were chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (45.5%), hypertension (34.1%), and tuberculosis (31.8%). All 44 Nocardia strains were susceptible to amikacin, trimethoprim / sulfamethoxazole, and linezolid. The resistance rates of Nocardia to amoxicillin-clavulanic acid, ciprofloxacin, clarithromycin, ceftriaxone, tobramycin, and imipenem were 4.5%, 9.1%, 79.5%, 72.7%, 63.6%, and 38.6%, respectively. Two Nocardia strains had decreased sensitivity to trimethoprim / sulfamethoxazole. In conclusion, N. farcinica was the most frequently isolated Nocardia species in the First Hospital of Changsha. All isolated clinical Nocardia strains showed susceptible to amikacin, trimethoprim / sulfamethoxazole, and linezolid, suggesting that these drugs can be primary therapeutic choices for treating Nocardia infections.

Keywords: Nocardia; antimicrobial resistance; pulmonary nocardiosis; susceptibility.