International journal of infectious diseases : IJID : official publication of the International Society for Infectious Diseases 2017 01 1157() 13-20 pii S1201-9712(17)30008-5
Nocardiosis is a rare disease with polymorphic presentations. The epidemiology and clinical presentation could change with the increasing number of immunocompromised patients.
The medical records and microbiological data of patients affected by nocardiosis and treated at the university hospitals of Marseille between 2004 and 2014 were analyzed retrospectively.
The cases of 34 patients infected by Nocardia spp during this period were analyzed. The main underlying conditions were transplantation (n=15), malignancy (n=9), cystic fibrosis (n=4), and immune disease (n=3); no immunodeficiency condition was observed for three patients. No case of AIDS was observed. At diagnosis, 61.8% had received steroids for over 3 months. Four clinical presentations were identified, depending on the underlying condition: the disseminated form (50.0%) and the visceral isolated form (26.5%) in severely immunocompromised patients, the bronchial form (14.7%) in patients with chronic lung disease, and the cutaneous isolated form (8.8%) in immunocompetent patients. Nocardia farcinica was the main species identified (26.5%). Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole was prescribed in 68.0% of patients, and 38.0% underwent surgery. Mortality was 11.7%, and the patients who died had disseminated or visceral nocardiosis.
The clinical presentation and outcome of nocardiosis depend on the patient’s initial immune status and underlying pulmonary condition. Severe forms were all iatrogenic, occurring after treatments altering the immune system.