Nocard, a French microbiologist and veterinary pathologist, first isolated
in 1888and described the species
, a lymphatic and visceral disease of oxen.
infections in humans range from chronic skin lesions to a progressive pulmonarydisease with documented haematogenous dissemination to virtually any organ in the body
Although nocardiosis has been diagnosed in individuals with no detectabledeficiency of humoral or cell-mediated immunity, it usually occurs in patients whoseimmune status has been compromised by post-transplant immunosuppressive therapy,leukemia, lymphoma, dysgammaglobulinemia, pancytopenia, humoral defects, chronicgranulomatous disease, or steroid therapy. The male/female ratio in nocardiosis isapproximately 2:1, and infections occur from infancy to old age. There is no apparentgeographic clustering of cases in the United States, except for cutaneous infection with
, which is more common in the south.
Both normal and immunocompromised
humans and animals.
Nocardiosis is sporadic and person-to-person spread is not well documented.
are parasitic bacteria which grow and reproduce on organic material. Their man habitat iscarbon-rich sources such as soils, and plant and animal tissues. In fact, they can be foundalmost anywhere. One environmental survey found
in "beach sand, swimming pools, house dust, and garden soil". Upon infection of a plant or animal host, it metabolizesnecrotizing tissues for energy and nutrients. Because
can form endospores,transmission of the bacteria "aerogenically" from one host to another is relatively easy, andthe bacteria can survive dormantly when food sources are not present.As stated,
infections can be transmitted aerogenically to host respiratory systems or cutaneous wound sites, they can be introduced by innoculation (puncture wounds with the bacteria contaminant), and through fluid contact (ex: case reported of keratitis due tocontaminated contact lenses). Infection, once contracted, may spread systemically(dissemination).