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J Infect. 1992 Mar;24(2):123-31.

Rhodococcus equi infection in patients with AIDS.

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Laboratoire de Microbiologie Clinique, Hôpital de la Conception, Marseille, France.


Rhodococcus equi is an emerging opportunistic pathogen of HIV-I infected patients. It is an aerobic, Gram-positive coryneform bacterium which acts as a facultative intracellular micro-organism, multiplying in the phagosome of macrophages. Eighteen cases of R. equi infection in HIV-I positive patients have now been reported. Sixteen of these had pneumonia, of which 12 had cavitating lung lesions. A history of contact with farm animals, which are the primary hosts of R. equi, was found in only three patients. There was a delay in establishing a definite diagnosis in most cases as this depended upon the isolation of R. equi from sputum, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, or blood. Treatment included surgical resection in five patients and erythromycin with a second antibiotic in 13 cases, but II of the 18 patients died from the infection. In this report we describe our experience of R. equi pneumonia in two AIDS patients and review the published cases of the disease in man.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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