|Cell Wall: Gram Positive
||Shape: Filamentous Rod|
- Nocardia are a group of non-spore-forming bacterial rods which remain attached following division and thus adopt a filamentous arrangement.
- Nocardia are widely distributed in the environment and transmission is likely to occur by inhalation of organisms.
- Nocardiosis is a rare disease and largely occurs in those with reduced cell-mediated immunity such as those with AIDS. Disease usually manifests with a pneumonia notable for its slow development and characterized by fever and weight loss. Empyema can develop in a number of patients along with lung abscesses. Some patients display extrapulmonary dissemination of the organism which tends to produce abscesses especially in the brain.
- Nocardia can often be observed in fluid from infected areas and appears as a branched, fillamentous structure which stains positive with gram stain and is also weakly acid-fast.