Left thigh phlegmon caused by Nocardia farcinica identified by 16S rRNA sequencing in a patient with Leprosy: a case report View Full Text


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Article Info

DATE

2013-04-04

AUTHORS

Pasquale De Nardo, Maria Letizia Giancola, Salvatore Noto, Elisa Gentilotti, Piero Ghirga, Chiara Tommasi, Rita Bellagamba, Maria Grazia Paglia, Emanuele Nicastri, Andrea Antinori, Angela Corpolongo

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In recent years, Nocardia farcinica has been reported to be an increasingly frequent cause of localized and disseminated infections in the immunocompromised patient. However, recent literature is limited. We report a case of left thigh phlegmon caused by N. farcinica that occurred in a patient with leprosy undergoing treatment with prednisone for leprosy reaction. CASE PRESENTATION: We describe the case of left thigh phlegmon caused by Nocardia farcinica in a 54-year-old Italian man affected by multi-bacillary leprosy. The patient had worked in South America for 11 years. Seven months after his return to Italy, he was diagnosed with leprosy and started multi-drug antibiotic therapy plus thalidomide and steroids. Then, during therapy with rifampicin monthly, minocycline 100 mg daily, moxifloxacin 400 mg daily, and prednisone (the latter to treat type 2 leprosy reaction), the patient complained of high fever associated with erythema, swelling, and pain in the left thigh. Therefore, he was admitted to our hospital with the clinical suspicion of cellulitis. Ultrasound examination and Magnetic Resonance Imaging showed left thigh phlegmon. He was treated with drainage and antibiotic therapy (meropenem and vancomycin replaced by daptomycin). The responsible organism, Nocardia farcinica, was identified by 16S rRNA sequencing in the purulent fluid taken out by aspiration. The patient continued treatment with intravenous trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole and imipenem followed by oral trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole and moxifloxacin. A whole-body computed tomography did not reveal dissemination to other organs like the lung or brain.The patient was discharged after complete remission. Oral therapy with trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, moxifloxacin, rifampicin monthly, clofazimine and thalidomide was prescribed to be taken at home. One month after discharge from the hospital the patient is in good clinical condition with complete resolution of the phlegmon. CONCLUSION: N. farcinica is a rare infectious agent that mainly affects immunocompromised patients. Presentation of phlegmon only without disseminated infection is unusual, even in these kinds of patients. In any case, a higher index of suspicion is needed, as diagnosis can easily be missed due to the absence of characteristic symptoms and the several difficulties usually encountered in identifying the pathogen. More... »

PAGES

162-162

References to SciGraph publications

  • 2007-11-09. In vitro activity of fluoroquinolones against clinical isolates of Nocardia identified by partial 16S rRNA sequencing in EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF CLINICAL MICROBIOLOGY & INFECTIOUS DISEASES
  • 1992-08. Review of nocardial infections in France 1987 to 1990 in EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF CLINICAL MICROBIOLOGY & INFECTIOUS DISEASES
  • 2001-11. Report of human nocardiosis in Italy between 1993 and 1997 in EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF EPIDEMIOLOGY
  • 2010-03-08. Nocardia farcinica lung infection in a patient with cystic fibrosis: a case report in JOURNAL OF MEDICAL CASE REPORTS
  • 2000-04. Infection Caused by Nocardia farcinica: Case Report and Review in EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF CLINICAL MICROBIOLOGY & INFECTIOUS DISEASES
  • Identifiers

    URI

    http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1186/1471-2334-13-162

    DOI

    http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2334-13-162

    DIMENSIONS

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    PUBMED

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23556433


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    29 schema:description BACKGROUND: In recent years, Nocardia farcinica has been reported to be an increasingly frequent cause of localized and disseminated infections in the immunocompromised patient. However, recent literature is limited. We report a case of left thigh phlegmon caused by N. farcinica that occurred in a patient with leprosy undergoing treatment with prednisone for leprosy reaction. CASE PRESENTATION: We describe the case of left thigh phlegmon caused by Nocardia farcinica in a 54-year-old Italian man affected by multi-bacillary leprosy. The patient had worked in South America for 11 years. Seven months after his return to Italy, he was diagnosed with leprosy and started multi-drug antibiotic therapy plus thalidomide and steroids. Then, during therapy with rifampicin monthly, minocycline 100 mg daily, moxifloxacin 400 mg daily, and prednisone (the latter to treat type 2 leprosy reaction), the patient complained of high fever associated with erythema, swelling, and pain in the left thigh. Therefore, he was admitted to our hospital with the clinical suspicion of cellulitis. Ultrasound examination and Magnetic Resonance Imaging showed left thigh phlegmon. He was treated with drainage and antibiotic therapy (meropenem and vancomycin replaced by daptomycin). The responsible organism, Nocardia farcinica, was identified by 16S rRNA sequencing in the purulent fluid taken out by aspiration. The patient continued treatment with intravenous trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole and imipenem followed by oral trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole and moxifloxacin. A whole-body computed tomography did not reveal dissemination to other organs like the lung or brain.The patient was discharged after complete remission. Oral therapy with trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, moxifloxacin, rifampicin monthly, clofazimine and thalidomide was prescribed to be taken at home. One month after discharge from the hospital the patient is in good clinical condition with complete resolution of the phlegmon. CONCLUSION: N. farcinica is a rare infectious agent that mainly affects immunocompromised patients. Presentation of phlegmon only without disseminated infection is unusual, even in these kinds of patients. In any case, a higher index of suspicion is needed, as diagnosis can easily be missed due to the absence of characteristic symptoms and the several difficulties usually encountered in identifying the pathogen.
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