Nocardia asteroides

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  • Found in soil and decaying vegetation - saprophytic
  • Opportunistic infection of immunocompromised animals
  • Infection via inhalation, wounds or teat canal; also ingestion
  • Causes granulomatous lesions in animals
  • Canine nocardiosis:
    • Thoracic, cutaneous and disseminated forms
    • Cutaneous pyogranulomas: ulcers or granulomatous swellings with discharging fistulae
    • peritonitis
    • pleuritis and pyothorax with fever, anorexia and respiratory distress
    • Disseminated lesions
    • Treat with appropriate systemic antibiotics for 6 weeks
  • Cattle: chronic mastitis; abortion
  • Pigs: abortion
  • Sheep, goats, horses: wound infections; mastitis; pneumonia
  • Survives and multiplies in macrophages
  • Superoxide dismutase and catalase as well as a thick peptidoglycan wall prevent activity of phagocytes
  • Chronic, progressive disease
  • Positive modified Ziehl-Neelson
  • Culture on blood agar and incubate under aerobic conditions at 37 degrees centigrade for 10 days
  • White, powdery colonies, adherent to the agar appear after 5 days
  • Subculture onto Sabouraud dextrose agar yields wrinkled, orange colonies
  • Lesions difficult to treat due to resistance of organisms to many antimicrobials (e.g. penicillins)
  • Cell-mediated immunity required