Nocardia infection in solid organ transplant recipients: a multicenter European case-control study.

Coussement, Julien; Lebeaux, David; van Delden, Christian; Guillot, Hélène; Freund, Romain; Marbus, Sierk; Melica, Giovanna; Van Wijngaerden, Eric; Douvry, Benoit; Van Laecke, Steven; Vuotto, Fanny; Tricot, Leïla; Fernández-Ruiz, Mario; Dantal, Jacques; Hirzel, Cédric; Jais, Jean-Philippe; Rodriguez-Nava, Veronica; Lortholary, Olivier; Jacobs, Frédérique (2016). Nocardia infection in solid organ transplant recipients: a multicenter European case-control study. Clinical infectious diseases, 63(3), pp. 338-345. Oxford University Press 10.1093/cid/ciw241

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Nocardiosis is a rare, life-threatening opportunistic infection, affecting 0.04% to 3.5% of patients after solid organ transplantation (SOT). The aim of this study was to identify risk factors for Nocardia infection after SOT and to describe the presentation of nocardiosis in these patients.


We performed a retrospective case-control study of adult patients diagnosed with nocardiosis after SOT between 2000 and 2014 in 36 European (France, Belgium, Switzerland, Netherlands, Spain) centers. Two control subjects per case were matched by institution, transplant date and transplanted organ. A multivariable analysis was performed using conditional logistic regression to identify risk factors for nocardiosis.


One hundred and seventeen cases of nocardiosis and 234 control patients were included. Nocardiosis occurred at a median of 17.5 [range 2-244] months after transplantation. In multivariable analysis, high calcineurin inhibitor trough levels in the month before diagnosis (OR=6.11 [2.58-14.51]), use of tacrolimus (OR=2.65 [1.17-6.00]) and corticosteroid dose (OR=1.12 [1.03-1.22]) at the time of diagnosis, patient age (OR=1.04 [1.02-1.07]) and length of stay in intensive care unit after SOT (OR=1.04 [1.00-1.09]) were independently associated with development of nocardiosis; low-dose cotrimoxazole prophylaxis was not found to prevent nocardiosis. Nocardia farcinica was more frequently associated with brain, skin and subcutaneous tissue infections than were other Nocardia species. Among the 30 cases with central nervous system nocardiosis, 13 (43.3%) had no neurological symptoms.


We identified five risk factors for nocardiosis after SOT. Low-dose cotrimoxazole was not found to prevent Nocardia infection. These findings may help improve management of transplant recipients.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Haematology, Oncology, Infectious Diseases, Laboratory Medicine and Hospital Pharmacy (DOLS) > Clinic of Infectiology

UniBE Contributor:

Hirzel, Cédric


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Oxford University Press




Annelies Luginbühl

Date Deposited:

12 Jul 2016 12:55

Last Modified:

19 Apr 2017 02:30

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