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J Glob Infect Dis. 2011 Apr;3(2):128-32. doi: 10.4103/0974-777X.81688.

Nocardiosis in a tertiary care hospital in saudi arabia.

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Department of Medicine, Pulmonary Division, King Saud University for Health Science, King Abdullah International Research Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.



Nocardiosis is an uncommon bacterial infection that is caused by aerobic actinomycetes of the genus Nocardia. This pathogen has emerged as an important cause of mortality and morbidity among both immunocompetent and (more commonly) immunocompromised hosts. The prevalence of nocardiosis is unknown in Saudi Arabia. Only sporadic cases of cutaneous nocardiosis have been reported. In this study, we performed a 10-year retrospective review of all cases of nocardiosis identified at the King Fahad National Guard Hospital in Riyadh. Clinical presentation, risk factors, site of disease involvement, radiological features, and outcomes of 30 patients with pulmonary and disseminated nocardiosis are presented.


A retrospective chart review of all cases of nocardiosis over the last ten years.


Thirty cases of nocardiosis were identified. The disease was more common in males. Fever and cough was the most common presentation. Most of the patients had an underlying pulmonary disease. Consolidation was the most prevalent radiological feature. Pleural effusion was common. Unfortunately, none of the isolates were sub-speciated. Cure was possible in 40% of the cases. Ten percent of patients died, while follow-up on the rest of the patients was lost.


Nocardiosis is not uncommon in Saudi Arabia. Cases are not restricted to the classical immunocompromised host. A database is urgently needed to better evaluate the prevalence of the illness among the Saudi population.


Aerobic actinomycetes; Nocardia; Nocardiosis

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