Section 17. Infectious Diseases >
Part 5. Bacterial Infections >
Chapter 276. NocardiosisNahed Abdel-Haq and Ashir Kumar
Topics Discussed: infectious diseases; nocardia; nocardia infections; pulmonary nocardiosis.
Excerpt:"Nocardiosis is an uncommon
gram-positive infection with protean clinical manifestations. It
is caused by a soilborne aerobic actinomycete of the family Nocardiaceae and
is acquired mostly through the respiratory tract.1 Members
of the family Nocardiaceae reproduce by fragmenting into bacillary
and coccoid elements but are distinguished by filamentous growth
with true branching.2 These organisms appear as
gram-positive branching filaments and are weakly acid-fast.2 Nocardia species
grow readily on simple media as pigmented colonies due to rudimentary
aerial mycelia.The genus Nocardia contains at least 50 species
that were characterized by phenotypic and molecular methods.1 Nocardia
asteroides is the most common species that causes human disease.
Other species that are associated with human disease include N
brasiliensis, N farcinica, N otitidiscaviarum, N nova, and N transvalensis.3 Nocardia species
can be skin contaminants and respiratory tract saprophytes. They are
ubiquitous in the environment and can be found worldwide as saprophytes in
soil, water, and decaying organic material, including vegetation
and animal deposits.4 Some species may be more
prevalent than others in certain geographic areas with specific
climates. Infections with Nocardia appear to be
more prevalent in the southwestern United States. Possible explanations
include the facilitation and dispersal of Nocardia..."
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