Skip to main content
eScholarship
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Increased Incidence of Nocardial Infections in an Era of Atovaquone Prophylaxis in Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant Recipients

  • Author(s): Molina, A
  • Winston, DJ
  • Pan, D
  • Schiller, GJ
  • et al.
Abstract

Nocardial infections have been rare after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). We report 10 recent cases of late-onset nocardiosis (median time of onset of 508 days after transplantation) primarily in patients on high doses of corticosteroids for graft-versus-host disease. All 10 patients had pulmonary infection caused by Nocardia species susceptible to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMX). At time of diagnosis 8 of 10 patients were not receiving TMP-SMX for prophylaxis of Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia (PJP; 7 on atovaquone, 1 on i.v. pentamidine). After the initiation of atovaquone prophylaxis for PJP in place of TMP-SMX for many UCLA allogeneic HSCT patients in 2012, 9 cases of nocardiosis occurred in 411 patients (2.2%) over the next 6 years (2012 to 2017) compared with only 1 case in 575 patients (0.17%) during the previous 12 years (2000 to 2011). Although there were no deaths directly related to nocardial infection treated primarily with TMP-SMX, overall mortality in this group of patients was 40%. Based on this experience, the use of atovaquone for PJP prophylaxis in place of TMP-SMX may be associated with an increased risk for previously rare nocardial infections after allogeneic HSCT.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC Academic Senate's Open Access Policy. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
Current View