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September 1953

NOCARDIOSIS: Aerobic Actinomycosis with Emphasis on the Alimentary Tract as a Portal of Entry

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery and Pathology (Bacteriology), Veterans Administration Hospital, and the Department of General Surgery, State University of Iowa College of Medicine.

AMA Arch Surg. 1953;67(3):381-391. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1953.01260040388010

NOCARDIOSIS is an actinomycotic infection caused by an aerobic genus of the family Actinomycetaceae. The fungus incriminated most frequently is Nocardia asteroides, and the infectious process may vary from a frank abscess to a granulomatous lesion. The treatment has been disappointing. Many of the published descriptions of the disease have dealt with pulmonary lesions and metastatic intracranial abscesses, most frequently a fatal issue. In this presentation we wish to point to the surgical importance of the disease and to present a relationship to the alimentary tract; data on animal pathogenicity studies, data on antibiotic and chemotherapeutic sensitivity studies, and the importance of an awareness of the disease coupled with the need for energetic therapy are also presented.

CLASSIFICATION  In 1943 Waksman and Henrici1 devised the currently accepted classification of the family Actinomycetaceae. Prior to this time any discussion of the Actinomycetaceae was hampered by a lack of common terminology.

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