Molecular diagnosis of fatal Nocardia farcinica pneumonia in an HIV-negative patient

Marialuisa Bocchino, Maria Grazia Paglia, Almerico Marruchella, Silvia Contini, Anna Festa, Cesare Saltini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nocardiosis is a rare and potentially life-threatening infection caused by several species of the Nocardia genus. Most cases occur in immunocompromised patients, and a delay in establishing the diagnosis is common due to the non-specific clinical presentations and the difficulty in cultivating Nocardia. Although the majority of pulmonary nocardiosis cases are caused by Nocardia asteroides, cases of human infection due to N. farcinica are increasingly diagnosed due to recent developments in taxonomy and diagnostic methods. N. farcinica is a separate species from N. asteroides and appears to be more virulent and resistant to antibiotics. Herein, we describe the case of a 65-year-old HIV-negative immunocompromised patient with a fulminant bilateral pulmonary nocardiosis while on empirical treatment with trimethoprim/ sulfamethoxazole and imipenem. Post-mortem diagnosis of N. farcinica infection was performed by means of DNA amplification and sequencing of the 65-kDa bacterial heat shock protein.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-465
Number of pages5
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 2008


  • Molecular diagnosis
  • Nocardia farcinica
  • Pneumonia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology


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