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Rhodococcus equi pneumonia and sepsis in an allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplant recipient
  1. Lokesh Shahani
  1. Department of Internal Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Lokesh Shahani, lokesh83{at}


Rhodococcus equi is an aerobic facultative intracellular organism that is known to infect cells of the macrophage–monocyte lineage. It is a common veterinary pathogen; however, the incidence of this infection in humans has risen and it has been recognised as an emerging opportunistic pathogen among the immunocompromised patients. We present the case of a patient with chronic myeloid leukaemia who had received allogenic stem cell transplant and presented to the hospital with clinical picture of pneumonia. Her condition worsened on initial broad spectrum antimicrobials and 3 weeks into her hospitalisation, R. equi was isolated from her broncheoalveolar lavage and blood cultures. Based on the susceptibility, therapy was changed to four active antimicrobials; however, the patient failed to improve and eventually died. This case highlights the importance of considering the diagnosis of R. equi among immunosuppressed patients early in the right clinical setting due to the high virulence associated with this organism.

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