Background: Nocardia otitidiscaviarum is an aerobic, gram positive bacteria with low virulence and incidence. Despite being uncommon, N. otitidiscaviarum has been associated with skin, lung, and disseminated infections.
Case report: A 56-year-old male with past medical history of type 2 diabetes mellitus and recent travel to the Bahamas presented to the emergency room with complains of abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and non-bloody diarrhea for four days. He ultimately required a PICC line for total parenteral nutrition. 2 days after line placement, he developed high fevers and severe right arm pain. Diagnostic imaging revealed venous thrombosis of cephalic vein and abscess formation within the soft tissue of right axilla with cultures ultimately growing Nocardia otitidiscaviarum. He underwent surgical incision and drainage of the abscess followed up with complete excision of the right cephalic vein and antecubital vein as well as sharp excisional debridement of skin, subcutaneous tissue and muscle fascia and was treated with trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole for 3 months.
Conclusion: Nocardia otitidiscaviarum treatment of cutaneous disease consists of trimethoprim- sulfamethoxazole for three to six months. While guidelines for surgical intervention for cutaneous infection are not specified, our patient required surgical incision and drainage of abscess, along with excision of vein due to necrosis in addition to antibiotic treatment for 3 months with successful outcomes.Reference:
Douedi S, Fadhel M, Patel S. Iatrogenic Nocardia otitidiscaviarum after PICC line placement. IDCases. 2020 Oct 24;22:e00986. doi: 10.1016/j.idcr.2020.e00986. PMID: 33163361; PMCID: PMC7607419.