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Cell Wall: Gram Positive Shape: Filamentous Rod
  • Nocardia are a group of non-spore-forming bacterial rods which remain attached following division and thus adopt a filamentous arrangement.
  • Nocardia are widely distributed in the environment and transmission is likely to occur by inhalation of organisms.
Clinical Consequences
  • Nocardiosis is a rare disease and largely occurs in those with reduced cell-mediated immunity such as those with AIDS. Disease usually manifests with a pneumonia notable for its slow development and characterized by fever and weight loss. Empyema can develop in a number of patients along with lung abscesses. Some patients display extrapulmonary dissemination of the organism which tends to produce abscesses especially in the brain.
  • Nocardia can often be observed in fluid from infected areas and appears as a branched, fillamentous structure which stains positive with gram stain and is also weakly acid-fast.
  • Bactrim