Case of Multi-Drug Resistant Nocardia nova as the Causative Agent of Cervical Spine Osteomyelitis in an Immunocompetent Adult


South Atlantic


Grand Strand Medical Center

Document Type

Case Report

Publication Date



Discitis, Immunocompetent, Nocardia nova, Osteomyelitis


Bacterial Infections and Mycoses | Internal Medicine


We report a case of a 54-year-old immunocompetent female with cervical spine discitis and osteomyelitis secondary to Nocardia nova. Nocardia nova is overall an exceedingly rare cause of infectious diseases. In this case, the patient was admitted for neck and right shoulder pain. One year prior, she had lumbar osteomyelitis (L4-L5) that required laminectomy. Cultures at that time grew Staphylococcus schleiferi and she was treated with cefazolin for six weeks. Six months later she presented with cervical spine (C4-C5) discitis/osteomyelitis. She underwent surgical laminectomy, biopsy and culture, which grew Nocardia nova. The patient was treated with intravenous amikacin and then transitioned to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole for a total of twelve months. Other case reports of spinal osteomyelitis secondary to nocardia describe treatment with antibiotics, surgical debridement plus or minus arthrodesis with favorable outcome in improving pain and functionality at 3 years.1 In our case, the patient completed the course of antibiotics and 6 months later, imaging of the cervical spine showed mild height loss at C4 and C5, however no significant acute changes in the cervical spine, epidural or prevertebral soft tissue collections. She continues with chronic neck pain but repeated MRI of the cervical spine at 2 years shows no evidence of osteomyelitis or soft tissue edema.

Publisher or Conference