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July 1957

Pulmonary Nocardiosis Treated with Chloramphenicol

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1957;100(1):152-156. doi:10.1001/archinte.1957.00260070166021

Human infections with aerobic Actinomyces which were formerly considered a rarity are being recognized with increasing frequency.1-3 Over 57 cases have been reported from various regions of the world. Nine of the forty-two known strains of Nocardia have been isolated from human cases.6

The disease involves most frequently the lungs in the form of an acute bronchopneumonia, which may become chronic, with areas of consolidation and often involvement of the pleura. Healing of pulmonary lesions may occur by complete resolution, or fibrosis may follow. Metastatic lesions, apparently blood borne, may involve any organ but are especially frequent in the brain.3,7 Cerebral symptomatology may be the initial or sole manifestation of the disease.8

Although the disease was almost always fatal in the past and still carries a high mortality rate (about 60%), since the introduction of effective chemotherapeutic and antibiotic agents a considerable proportion of the cases