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Secular trends of nocardia infection over 15 years in a tertiary care hospital

Matulionyte, R.
Published in Journal of clinical pathology. 2004, vol. 57, no. 8, p. 807-812
Abstract AIMS: To assess the incidence of nocardia infection over 15 years in a tertiary care hospital. METHODS: Over a 15 year period, Nocardia spp were isolated from 20 patients hospitalised at the Geneva University Hospitals, Switzerland. RESULTS: Sixteen patients had one or more underlying conditions. The median time between symptom onset and diagnosis was 30 days. The most common initial unconfirmed diagnosis was pulmonary tuberculosis (four). The lung was involved in 16 cases, followed by the central nervous system (two) and skin (two); one patient had disseminated infection. The most common species identified was N asteroides. In vitro susceptibility testing was performed on 14 of 20 strains. All strains were susceptible to imipenem and amikacin. Initial treatment with trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (TMP/SMX) was started in 14 patients, although five patients had to be switched to another treatment because of side effects or lack of efficacy. A cure was observed in 15 patients, death in three, and relapse or complications in two. CONCLUSIONS: Nocardiosis can become a severe infection and mainly affects profoundly immunocompromised patients. Differential diagnosis often delays the time to diagnosis, which worsens the outcome. New diagnostic tools, such as the polymerase chain reaction, could provide more rapid and reliable results. TMT/SMX was the most commonly prescribed treatment, but needed to be changed for another treatment because of side effects or lack of efficacy in a considerable proportion of patients. Imipenem should be used as an alternative treatment for severely ill patients, and the sulfa combination for less severe infections.
Keywords AdolescentAdultAgedAged, 80 and overAnti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic useBrain Diseases/diagnosis/drug therapy/epidemiologyChildChild, PreschoolCross Infection/diagnosis/drug therapy/ epidemiologyHospitals, UniversityHumansIncidenceLung Diseases/diagnosis/drug therapy/ epidemiologyMiddle AgedNocardiaNocardia Infections/diagnosis/drug therapy/ epidemiologyRetrospective StudiesSkin Diseases, Bacterial/diagnosis/drug therapy/epidemiologySwitzerland/epidemiology
PMID: 15280400
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MATULIONYTE, R. et al. Secular trends of nocardia infection over 15 years in a tertiary care hospital. In: Journal of clinical pathology, 2004, vol. 57, n° 8, p. 807-812. doi: 10.1136/jcp.2004.016923 https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:7428

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Deposited on : 2010-06-21

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