Antibiotic susceptibility testing and species identification of Nocardia isolates: a retrospective analysis of data from a French expert laboratory, 2010-2015.Clin Microbiol Infect. 2019 Apr; 25(4):489-495.CM
Nocardia, a Gram-positive bacterium, is responsible for rare and severe infections. Accurate microbiological data are essential to guide antibiotic treatment. Our primary objective was to describe species identification and results of antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) for Nocardia isolates analysed over a 6-year period. Secondary objectives were to study temporal trends in species distribution and AST results.
We retrospectively analysed results from Nocardia isolates sent between January 2010 and December 2015 to a French laboratory dedicated to Nocardia (Observatoire Français des Nocardioses). Species identification was obtained by amplification and sequencing of a 600-bp fragment of the 16S rRNA gene (for all isolates) and of hsp65 (when required). AST was performed using disk diffusion.
We included 793 Nocardia isolates, mostly from the lungs (53.8%). The most frequent species were Nocardia farcinica (20.2%), Nocardia abscessus complex (19.9%) and Nocardia nova complex (19.5%). The proportion of N. farcinica increased significantly over time from 13% in 2010 to 27.6% in 2014. Linezolid, amikacin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, minocycline and imipenem were the most frequently identified active antibiotics with, respectively, 0% (0/734), 2.9% (21/730), 5.4% (40/734), 9.4% (69/734) and 19.5% (143/732) of isolates not susceptible. Nocardia farcinica was frequently not susceptible to cefotaxime (118/148, 79.7% of the isolates), but only about 5% of Nocardia cyriacigeorgica and N. abscessus complex isolates were not susceptible to cefotaxime.
In this first epidemiological study of Nocardia isolated from human samples in France, N. farcinica was the species most frequently identified and its prevalence increased over time.