European Journal of Epidemiology

, Volume 17, Issue 11, pp 1019–1022 | Cite as

Report of human nocardiosis in Italy between 1993 and 1997

  • C. Farina
  • P. Boiron
  • I. Ferrari
  • F. Provost
  • A. Goglio


During a 5-year period, from 1993 to 1997, nocardial infection was diagnosed in 26 patients admitted to hospitals in 11 cities in Italy. Pathogens were identified as Nocardia asteroides in 18 cases, as N. farcinica in five cases, as N. nova in two and as N. brasiliensis in one case. All cases were difficult to diagnose, as usually it happens with this disease: physicians have to be alert to suspect nocardial infection so that appropriate therapy can be early given. This is the second retrospective report on Nocardia spp. infection conducted in Italy, suggesting the utility to organise a permanent network for a national survey system for nocardiosis.

Italy Nocardiosis Survey 


  1. 1.
    Provost F, Laurent F, Blanc MV, Boiron P. Transmission of nocardiosis and molecular typing of Nocardia species: A short review. Eur J Epidemiol 1997; 13: 235–238.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Laurent F, Mick V, Boiron P. Nocardia infections: Clinical and biological aspects. Ann Biol Clin (Paris) 1999; 57: 545–554.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Morrison VA. The infectious complications of chronic lymphocitic leukemia. Sem Oncol 1998; 25: 98–106.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Choucino C, Goodman SA, Greer JP. Nocardial infections in bone marrow transplant recipients. Clin Infect Dis 1996; 23: 1012–1019.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Patel R, Paya CV. Infections in solid-organ transplant recipients. Clin Microbiol Rev 1997; 10: 86–124.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Gallant JE, Ko AH. Cavitary pulmonary lesions in patients infected with human immunode.ciency virus. Clin Infect Dis 1996; 671–682.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Mishra SK, Gordon R, Barnett DA. Identification of nocardiae and actinomycetes of medical importance. J Clin Microbiol 1980; 11: 728–736.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Boiron P, Locci R, Goodfellow M. Nocardia, nocardiosis and mycetoma. Med Mycol 1998; 36(Suppl. 1): 26–37.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Yassin AF, Rainey FA, Mendrock U, Brzezika H, Schaal KP. Nocardia abscessus sp. nov. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 2001; 51: 1419–1423.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Yassin AF, Rainey FA, Steiner U. Nocardia cyriacigeorgici sp. nov. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 2000; 50: 1487–1493.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Hamid ME, Maldonado L, Sharif Eldin GS, Mohamed MF, Saeed NS, Goodfellow M. Nocardia africana sp. nov., a new pathogen isolated from patients with pulmonary infections. J Clin Microbiol 2001; 39: 625–630.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Ajello L, Georg LK, Kaplan W, Kaufman L. Laboratory manual for medical mycology. Public Health Service Population, no 994. US Government Printing Office, Washington, 1963; G-65-G-78.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Boiron P, Provost F. In-vitro susceptibility testing of Nocardia spp. and its taxonomic implication. J Antimicrob Chemother 1988; 22: 623–629.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Minnikin DE, Alshamaony L, Goodfellow M. Differentiation of Mycobacterium, Nocardia and related taxa by thin-layer chromatographic analysis of wholeorganism methanolysates. J Gene Microbiol 1975; 88; 200–204.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Staneck JL, Roberts GD. Simplified approach to identi.cation of aerobic actinomycetes by thin-layer chromatography. Appl Microbiol 1974; 28: 226–231.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Farina C, Boiron P, Goglio A, Provost F. Northern Italy Collaborative Group on Nocardiosis: Human nocardiosis in Northern Italy from 1982 to 1992. Scand J Infect Dis 1995; 27: 23–27.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Beaman BL, Burnside J, Edwards B, Causey W. Nocardial infections in the United States, 1972–1974. J Infect Dis 1976; 134: 286–289.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Boiron P, Provost F, Chevrier G, Dupont B. Review of nocardial infections in France 1987 to 1990. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infecti Dis 1992; 11: 709–714.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Menendez R, Cordero PJ, Santos M. Pulmonary infection with Nocardia species: A report of 10 cases and review. Eur Respir J 1997; 10: 1542–1546.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Gombert ME, Aulicino TM, duBouchet L, Silverman GE, Sheinbaum WM. Therapy of experimental cerebral nocardiosis with imipenem, amikacin, trimethoprim –sulphametoxazole, and minocycline. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 1986; 30: 270–273.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Lerner PI. Nocardiosis. Clin Infect Dis 1996; 22: 891–903.0Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Farina
    • 1
  • P. Boiron
    • 2
    • 3
  • I. Ferrari
    • 1
  • F. Provost
    • 2
  • A. Goglio
    • 1
  1. 1.Unità Operativa Microbiologia e VirologiaAzienda Ospedaliera ‘Ospedali Riuniti di Bergamo’BergamoItalia
  2. 2.Centre National de Référence des Mycoses et des AntifongiquesInstitut PasteurParis CedexFrance
  3. 3.Laboratoire de Mycologie Fondamentale et Appliquée aux Biotechnologies Industrielles, Institut des Sciences Pharmaceutiques et Biologiques, Faculté de PharmacieUniversité Claude Bernard Lyon 1Lyon CedexFrance

Personalised recommendations