European Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases

, Volume 11, Issue 8, pp 709-714

First online:

Review of nocardial infections in France 1987 to 1990

  • P. BoironAffiliated withUnité de Mycologie, Institut Pasteur
  • , F. ProvostAffiliated withUnité de Mycologie, Institut Pasteur
  • , G. ChevrierAffiliated withUnité de Mycologie, Institut Pasteur
  • , B. DupontAffiliated withUnité de Mycologie, Institut Pasteur

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On the basis of the numbers ofNocardia strains referred to the National Reference Center for Mycoses and Antifungal Agents (NRC), Institut Pasteur, Paris, in the period from 1987 to 1990, it was estimated that between 150 and 250 cases of nocardiosis are diagnosed in France each year. A total of 63 clinical isolates were referred to the NRC and identified asNocardia asteroides (66.7 %),Nocardia farcinica (23.8 %),Nocardia brasiliensis (3.2 %),Nocardia otitidiscaviarum (4.8 %) andNocardia carnea (1.5 %).Nocardia asteroides accounted for 71.4 % of pulmonary infections, 80.0 % of central nervous system infections and 80.0 % of systemic infections. Patients infected withNocardia farcinica died in 57.1 % of cases, compared with 17.6 % of patients infected withNocardia asteroides. Corticosteroid therapy represented a significant factor in mortality. Isolates ofNocardia asteroides revealed variable resistance, whereas isolates ofNocardia farcinica were resistant to most antimicrobial agents. Only amoxicillin/clavulanic acid, imipenem, cefoxitin, kanamycin, amikacin, minocycline and vancomycin showed activity against both species. Nocardiosis caused byNocardia farcinica may be a growing problem because of the relatively high incidence in AIDS patients and the resistance of this species to most antimicrobial agents.