Infectious Disease Compendium

Rhodococcus

Microbiology

Gram positive rods, includes R. aurantiacus, R. bronchialis, R. equi (most common human pathogen), R. erythropolis, R. luteus, R. rhodochrous, R. rubropertinctus. A spin off from the Marytylermoorecoccus.

Epidemiologic Risks

R. equi is associated with horses where it causes the rattles, a pneumonia of foals. Also found in " cattle, goats, swine, buffalo, sheep, crocodiles, wild birds, deer, seals, marmosets, and koala bears (PubMed)". Most of the others are on plants, in the water and dirt.

Syndromes

R. equi causes pneumonia, often cavitary, in AIDS and other immunoincompetent patients, the others are case reports in poor hosts and medical device infections; occasional reports of disseminated disease.

Treatment

R. equi: vancomycin. Test susceptibilities, but usually susceptible to linezolid,erythromycin, rifampin, quinolones, aminoglycosides, vancomycin, and carbapenems. In poor hosts it is suggested to give combination therapy for the first two weeks. Oral therapy is then given for at least 6 months (PubMed). End points is cure and long term suppression is not unreasonable in some hosts.

It may develop resistance on therapy.

Notes

It is more like a Mycobacterium or Nocardia and requires long courses of therapy.

Last Update: 04/07/18.