Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Symptoms

Nocardia Infection Overview

What is a nocardia infection?
A person with a nocardia infection has a rare bacterial disorder that affects the brain, lungs or skin. Nocardial infection of the lungs is a disease that is mainly seen in those with a poorly functioning immune system.

What are the symptoms of a nocardia infection?
Symptoms of a nocardia infection depend on which organs are involved. If the infection affects the lungs, symptoms may include chest pain when breathing, fever, night sweats, coughing up blood, or weight loss. If the infection affects the brain, symptoms may include fever, headache and a loss of neurological function. If the infection affects the skin, symptoms may include draining tracts on the skin, or ulcers that spread along the lymph nodes.

How does the doctor treat a nocardia infection?
The treatment for a nocardia infection includes long-term antibiotic therapy. Further treatment depends on the location of the infection. Almost all nocardial skin infections can be cured with antibiotics. About 90% of lung infections can be cured with antibiotics. Only about 60% of nocardial infections of the brain can be cured with antibiotics.

Continue to Nocardia Infection Symptoms

Last Updated: Nov 9, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Nocardia Infection References
  1. Asgeirsson H, Sigurdardottir B. [Nocardiosis in immunocompromised host presenting as cellulitis.]. Laeknabladid. 2010 Jun;96(6):423-5. [20519773]
  2. Sullivan DC, Chapman SW. Bacteria that masquerade as fungi: actinomycosis/nocardia. Proc Am Thorac Soc. 2010 May;7(3):216-21. [20463251]
  3. Yokota S, Kawabe K, Yamada H, Nunomura M. A case of subcutaneous abscess caused by Nocardia farcinica in an aplastic anemia patient. Nippon Ishinkin Gakkai Zasshi. [20467197]
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