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Michael Melia, M.D., John G. Bartlett, M.D.
Nocardia is a topic covered in the Johns Hopkins ABX Guide.

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  • Gram-positive branching, beaded, filamentous rod.
    • Partially acid fast with modified Kinyoun stain.
    • Can be difficult to recover; notify lab if high index of suspicion.
    • Grow on non-selective media in 2-14 days.
      • Selective media (Thayer-Martin, paraffin agar, charcoal-buffered yeast extract media) may be needed to enhance growth and minimize contaminants.
  • More than 50 species known. Found worldwide, considered a soil pathogen. May also be seen in human oral flora.
    • Many of the isolates initially identified as N. asteroides are now known by modern techniques to have been misclassified.
  • Classified by some according to drug-susceptibility patterns + other organisms/groups:
    • Type I: N. abscessus
    • Type II: N. brevicatena/paucivorans complex
    • Type III: N. nova complex (including N. nova, N. veterana, N. africana)
    • Type IV: N. transvalensis complex
    • Type V: N. farcinica
      • Most common cause of disseminated/extrapulmonary disease
    • Type VI: N. cyriacigeorgica
    • N. brasiliensis
      • Cause of primary cutaneous infection in immunocompetent hosts
    • N. pseudobrasiliensis 
    • N. otitidiscaviarum 

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Last updated: July 30, 2017


Melia, Michael, and John G Bartlett. "Nocardia." Johns Hopkins ABX Guide, The Johns Hopkins University, 2017. Johns Hopkins Guide, www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540389/7/Nocardia.
Melia M, Bartlett JG. Nocardia. Johns Hopkins ABX Guide. The Johns Hopkins University; 2017. https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540389/7/Nocardia. Accessed August 18, 2019.
Melia, M., & Bartlett, J. G. (2017). Nocardia. In Johns Hopkins ABX Guide. Available from https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540389/7/Nocardia
Melia M, Bartlett JG. Nocardia [Internet]. In: Johns Hopkins ABX Guide. The Johns Hopkins University; 2017. [cited 2019 August 18]. Available from: https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540389/7/Nocardia.
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TY - ELEC T1 - Nocardia ID - 540389 A1 - Melia,Michael,M.D. AU - Bartlett,John,M.D. Y1 - 2017/07/30/ BT - Johns Hopkins ABX Guide UR - https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540389/7/Nocardia PB - The Johns Hopkins University DB - Johns Hopkins Guide DP - Unbound Medicine ER -