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February 1977

Nocardia: A Geographic Prevalence

Arch Dermatol. 1977;113(2):237. doi:10.1001/archderm.1977.01640020109028

To the Editor.—  I wish to take exception to two points in a recent article that appeared in the Archives (112: 370, 1976). Having finally disposed of the archaic notions as to the nature of the beast,1 we now have to be concerned with the epidemiology and the relative virulence of two of the nocardiae, N asteroides and N brasiliensis. It is stated by Karassik et al that "Nocardia brasiliensis represents a ubiquitous soil saprophyte" and that it is of lower virulence than N asteroides. First of all, if you use Gordon's technique for isolating Nocardia from soil (bury a glass rod that has been dipped in paraffin)2 you will find that throughout the temperate areas of the United States, N asteroides alone will be the species encountered. We have done this as a class exercise for a dozen years or so. If you use the same technique

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