Disseminated nocardiosis in a renal transplant recipient


Nocardiosis is an uncommon opportunistic Gram-positive bacterial infection caused by aerobic actinomycetes in the genus Nocardia. Nocardia can cause localized or systemic suppurative diseases involving eyes, kidneys, skin, lungs, bone, and central nervous system. Disseminated nocardiosis is a rare condition, seen among immunocompromised patients. We report the case of a 55-year-old African American, kidney transplant male recipient on maintenance immunosuppression, who was diagnosed with cutaneous and pulmonary nocardiosis. Presenting symptoms were shortness of breath, and bilateral lower extremities pain and swelling. Tissue culture grew Gram-positive bacilli specified as Nocardia farcinica from thigh and gluteal abscesses. CT thorax showed bilateral reticulonodular opacities. The patient was managed with immunosuppression reduction and specific treatment with high-dose trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMX) in conjunction with linezolid. Combination antibiotics were continued for four weeks, and thereafter, TMP-SMX alone was continued for 12 months, at which point all lesions had healed. Nocardiosis with systemic involvement carries a poor prognosis. However, early diagnosis and appropriate antibiotic coverage had a favorable outcome in a renal transplant recipient. Recommended treatment duration is 6 to 12 months.

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Case Report

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