Interaction of Nocardia asteroides in BALB/c Mice: Modulation of Macrophage Function, Enzyme Activity and the Induction of Immunologically Specific T-Cell Bactericidal Activity

  • B. L. Beaman
  • C. Black
Part of the Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology book series (CT MICROBIOLOGY, volume 122)


The genus Nocardia is composed of Gram-positive, strictly aerobic bacteria that initially grow as branching filamentous cells which fragment to irregular rods and cocci (Adams and McClung, 1962). These organisms are prevalent in the soil where they are important agents for both the breakdown of complex organic substances and the carbon cycle within fertile soils. They are closely related biologically to the genera Mycobacterium and Corynebacterium. Three species (N. asteroides, N. brasiliensis, and N. caviae) are important pathogens for a large variety of vertebrates including humans (Beaman and Sugar, 1983). In the United States, N. asteroides is the most frequently recognized human pathogen (Beaman et al., 1976). N. asteroides infects primarily the lungs following inhalation of the organism; however, it may also cause localized abscesses or systemic disease following traumatic introduction of the organisms into the tissues or bloodstream. Nocardia may remain localized, especially within the lungs or it may disseminate by hematogenous spread to the brain, kidneys, heart, eye, skin or other regions of the body. Serious, progressive disease may be either acute or chronic within otherwise healthy individuals; however, nocardiosis is frequently diagnosed within the compromised host (Schaal and Beaman, 1983).


Alveolar Macrophage Kupffer Cell Dextran Sulfate Macrophage Population Candida Krusei 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. L. Beaman
  • C. Black

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