We report a case of a 65-year-old immunocompromised man with persistent primary cutaneous Nocardia brasiliensis infection following a motor vehicle collision. A high degree of suspicion is needed to diagnose Nocardia infection because of its resemblance to other bacterial infections.
Nocardiosis should be included in the differential diagnosis of chronic cutaneous infections, especially when the response to antibiotics is inadequate or when the patient is immunocompromised.
Because Nocardia may take several weeks to grow in standard bacterial culture media, laboratories should be notified of the suspicion so that culture plates are held for longer time periods. Long-term therapy, usually with sulfonamides, often is necessary.