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Nocardia lung abscess in an immunocompetent adolescent
  1. Diana Soares1,
  2. Ana Reis-Melo2,
  3. Catarina Ferraz3 and
  4. Luisa Guedes Vaz3
  1. 1 Department of Pediatrics, Centro Hospitalar Vila Nova de Gaia - Espinho EPE, Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal
  2. 2 Department of Pediatrics, Centro Hospitalar São João EPE, Porto, Portugal
  3. 3 Pediatric Pulmonology Unit, Department of Pediatrics, Centro Hospitalar São João EPE, Porto, Portugal
  1. Correspondence to Dr Diana Soares, dianarsoares{at}


The authors report a case of a lung abscess caused by Nocardia sp. in a previously healthy adolescent. A 17-year-old young man presented with tonsillitis that did not respond to β-lactamic antibiotic, dyspnoea and thoracic pain. The X-ray revealed a cavitation in the right pulmonary upper lobe. He was admitted and completed a 14-day empirical antimicrobial therapy for a pulmonar abscess, although no clinical recovery was observed. He then underwent pulmonary biopsy of the lesion and PCR analysis of the collected pulmonary tissue, which revealed the presence of Nocardia. This case emphasises the importance of considering nocardiosis in the differential diagnosis of a lung abscess, particularly if no response to empirical therapy is obtained.

  • paediatrics (drugs and medicines)
  • infectious diseases
  • interventional radiology
  • respiratory medicine

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  • Contributors All authors were responsible for conception and design, acquisition of the data, analysis and interpretation of the data and drafting of the article.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.