Adult T Cell Leukemia/Lymphoma Becoming Apparent During Treatment of Pulmonary Abscess and Empyema Caused by Nocardia asiatica: A Case Report and Review of the Literature

Intern Med. 2021 Dec 28. doi: 10.2169/internalmedicine.8428-21. Online ahead of print.


Nocardia is a Gram-positive bacterium that causes opportunistic infections. Nocardia asiatica was newly isolated in 2004, and there have been no case reports describing the empyema caused by N. asiatica. Adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL) is a peripheral T-cell malignancy caused by human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1). We herein report a case in which immunosuppression attributable to ATL may have led to pulmonary abscess and empyema caused by N. asiatica. Our case demonstrates the need to investigate causes of immunosuppression, including ATL, in patients showing nocardiosis.

Keywords: Adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma; Human T-cell leukemia virus; Nocardia asiatica; Nocardiosis.