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Clin Microbiol Infect. 2006 Sep;12(9):905-12.

Determination of antimicrobial susceptibility patterns of Nocardia spp. from clinical specimens by Etest.

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Department of Clinical Microbiology, UCL Mont-Godinne University Hospital, Yvoir, Belgium.


Susceptibilities to 11 antimicrobial agents were determined by Etest for 93 Nocardia isolates from clinical specimens and 15 type strains belonging to different Nocardia spp. All isolates were susceptible to trimethoprim-sulphamethoxazole, amikacin and linezolid, but susceptibilities of the various Nocardia spp. to beta-lactams, aminoglycosides, ciprofloxacin and clarithromycin varied markedly. Overall, there was a good correlation between the drug resistance patterns and the species identification established by conventional phenotypic tests and 16S rDNA sequencing. Among the different species encountered, Nocardia farcinica and Nocardia brasiliensis displayed the most multiresistant profiles, with resistance to imipenem occurring mainly among isolates of N. brasiliensis and Nocardia abscessus. The species variability in susceptibility profiles and the numerous recent taxonomic changes means that in-vitro susceptibility tests may be a complementary tool for the identification of Nocardia isolates from human clinical specimens. Further studies on a larger number of species from more diverse geographical sources, including species that are found less commonly among clinical isolates, are required to validate and extend the results.

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