An eight-year experience of Nocardia infection in Italy: Does immunosuppression matter?

Marta Colaneri, Andrea Lombardi, Alessandra Morea, Vincenzina Monzillo, Bianca Mariani, Piero Marone, Marco Sciarra, Margherita Sambo, Enrico Brunetti, Raffaele Bruno, Elena Seminari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nocardia has always been considered a pathogen of the immunocompromised host, but recent evidence has also highlighted its role as a pathogen in the immunocompetent. We aim to assess the role of immunosuppression in the disease. We reviewed all the cases of infections due to Nocardia spp. in our center that occurred from 1 January 2012 to 30 September 2019. Patients were divided into three groups: typical immunocompromised (PLWHIV, solid organ or hematopoietic cell transplant recipients, individuals under immunosuppressive drugs), atypical immunocompromised (ongoing chronic diseases involving the lung, kidney, liver and diabetes) and immunocompetent. We identified 53 patients with an infection by Nocardia spp. Thirty-four (60.4%) of them were immunocompromised, 22 (64.7%) typical and 12 (35.3%) atypical immunocompromised. Nineteen (35.8%) were immunocompetent. The two conditions most frequently associated with infection were chronic lung disease (41.5%) and ongoing treatment with immunosuppressive drugs (33.9%). In our cohort a remarkable prevalence of nocardiosis in immunocompetent and atypical immunosuppressed patients was observed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-116
Number of pages6
JournalNew Microbiologica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • Atypical immunocompromised patients
  • Nocardia spp
  • Pulmonary infection
  • Typical immunocompromised patients

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)


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