Pulmonary nocardiosis is an infection of the lung with the bacteria, Nocardia asteroides.
Nocardiosis – pulmonary
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Nocardia infection develops when you breathe in (inhale) the bacteria. The infection causes
People at highest risk for nocardia infection are those with a weakened immune system. This includes people who have:
Been taking steroids or other medicines that weaken the immune system for a long time
Had an organ transplant
Other people at risk include those with chronic lung problems related to smoking, emphysema, or other infections such as
- Entire body
Fever(comes and goes)
- General ill feeling (
- Night sweats
- Gastrointestinal system
- Liver and spleen swelling (
- Unintentional weight loss
- Lungs and airways
- Breathing difficulty
- Chest pain not due to heart problems
- Coughing up blood
- Rapid breathing
- Shortness of breath
- Muscles and joints
- Nervous system
- Change in mental state
- Skin rashes or lumps
- Skin sores (abscesses)
Swollen lymph nodes
Signs and tests
Your doctor or nurse will examine you and listen to your lungs using a stethoscope. You may have abnormal lung sounds, called crackles. Tests that may be done include:
- Bronchoalveolar lavage – fluid is sent for stain and culture
Bronchoscopy Chest x-ray CT scanof the chest Pleural fluid cultureand stain
- Sputum stain and culture
The goal of treatment is to control the infection. Antibiotics are used, but it may take a while to get better. You must keep taking the medications for at least 3 months.
Surgery may be needed to remove or drain infected areas.
Your health care provider may tell you to stop taking any medicines that weaken your immune system. Never stop taking any medicine before talking to your health provider first.
The outcome is often good when diagnosed and treated quickly.,
The outcome is poor when the infection spreads outside the lung, treatment is delayed, or the patient has serious underlying diseases.
- Skin infections
Calling your health care provider
Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of this disorder. Early diagnosis and treatment may improve the chance of a good outcome.
Be careful when using corticosteroids. Use these drugs sparingly, in the lowest effective doses and for the shortest periods of time possible.
Some patients with an impaired immune system may need to take antibiotics for long periods of time to prevent the infection from returning.