Clinical correlates of nocardiosis

Ili Margalit, Elad Goldberg, Yaara Ben Ari, Haim Ben-Zvi, Yael Shostak, Ilan Krause, Khitam Muhsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nocardia is an opportunistic pathogen that most frequently affects the lungs. Evidence is limited regarding the risk factors for nocardiosis. The current study assessed clinical correlates of nocardiosis. A retrospective study was conducted based on medical records of consecutive adult patients (N = 60) with nocardiosis hospitalized during 2007–2018 at a tertiary hospital in central Israel. A matched comparison group of 120 patients was randomly selected among hospitalized patients with community-acquired pneumonia. Multivariable conditional logistic regression models were fitted. Immunosuppressive pharmacotherapy was positively associated with nocardiosis (matched odds ratio [OR] 4.40, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.25–8.62, p < 0.001), particularly corticosteroid therapy (matched OR 4.69, 95% CI 2.45–8.99, p < 0.001). Systemic corticosteroid therapy was strongly associated with pulmonary nocardiosis (matched OR 5.90, 95% CI 2.75–12.66, p < 0.001). The positive association between solid organ transplantation and nocardiosis was attenuated following adjustment for systemic corticosteroids in a multivariable model. The association between corticosteroid therapy and nocardiosis appeared stronger in patients with chronic pulmonary disease (OR 5.74, 95% CI 2.75–12.66, p < 0.001) than in the pooled analysis of all nocardiosis cases. In conclusion, corticosteroid therapy was strongly correlated with nocardiosis, particularly among individuals with chronic pulmonary disease and in pulmonary nocardiosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14272
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2020


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