Actinomyces and nocardia infections in chronic granulomatous disease

Shahindokht Bassiri-Jahromi, Aida Doostkam
Journal of Global Infectious Diseases 2011, 3 (4): 348-52

OBJECTIVE: Chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) is an inherited disorder of the Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate reduced oxidase complex characterized by recurrent bacterial and fungal infections. Disseminated infection by combination of opportunistic agents is being increasingly reported in CGD patients. We presented in the retrospective review of medical records, the etiology, presentation, clinical characteristics the infections detected, predisposing condition and outcome of nocardiosis and actinomycosis involved in a group of pediatric patients diagnosed with CGD.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The clinical presentation of CGD-related infections was reviewed retrospectively from the medical records of all 12 patients with CGD. We studied respectively 12 patients between 2001 and 2008, and we analyzed two pediatric patients with CGD who acquired Nocardia and Actinomyces infections, and their clinical and microbiological characteristics were described. The material for investigations was collected from scrapings, crusts, pus from subcutaneous abscesses or exudation from sinus tracts, surgical debridement, and biopsy specimens. The microbiological diagnosis was determined by biochemical tests, histology, microscopy, and culture of clinical samples.

RESULTS: The medical records of 12 diagnosed CGD patients with suspected nocardiosis or actinomycosis were reviewed. One patient was diagnosed with actinomycosis and one patient with nocardiosis. Patients consisted of seven males and five females with ranging ages of 3 to 18 years. Nocardiosis and actinomycosis isolated in the two patients were confirmed by histology and culture methods. Neutrophil oxidative burst were absent (NBT=0) in both patients. The most common manifestations of CGD due to fungal infections, actinomycosis, and nocardiosis were osteomyelitis (42.8%), pulmonary infections (28.6%), lymphadenopathy (14.3%), and skin involvement (14.3%) during their illness.

CONCLUSION: Nocardiosis and actinomycosis in children indicate the need for evaluation for an underlying immunological deficiency. Early diagnosis remains critical for decreased morbidity and occasional mortality. Physicians caring for patients with CGD should maintain a high index of suspicion for nocardiosis and actinomycosis especially if work up for TB and fungal infections are negative.

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