Nocardia keratitis: amikacin nonsusceptibility, risk factors, and treatment outcomes

Ethan Adre, Jorge Maestre-Mesa, Heather Durkee, Alejandro Arboleda, Harry Flynn, Guillermo Amescua, Jean Marie Parel, Darlene Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To report the increasing trends in Nocardia keratitis species diversity and in vitro antibiotic susceptibility, to demonstrate contact lens wear as a risk factor, and to report visual acuity outcomes after treatment. Methods: A retrospective clinical case series was performed at a single academic referral center which identified 26 patients with culture-confirmed Nocardia keratitis between 2014 and 2021. A combination of conventional microbiology and molecular techniques were used to identify isolates. Antibiotic susceptibilities were determined using both commercial and in-house laboratory methods. Microbiology and electronic medical records were used to characterize patients’ clinical profiles. Results: Patients’ median age was 32.5 years with a 2:1 male to female ratio. Eighty-four percent (n = 21/25) of patients were diagnosed within two weeks of symptom onset. Nocardia amikacinitolerans (n = 11/26) was the most recovered Nocardia isolate among study patients. Sixty-four percent (n = 16/25) of all isolates, including all 11 N. amikacinitolerans isolates, were resistant to amikacin. All isolates were susceptible to trimethoprim sulfamethoxazole. Contact lens wear was the leading identified risk factor (n = 23/26) in this population. Median time to resolution was 44 days (n = 23, range: 3–190 days). Seventy-one percent of patients (n = 15/21) had a final visual acuity of 20/40 or better. Conclusion: Amikacin resistant Nocardia isolates were the majority in the current study. Trimethoprim sulfamethoxazole may be the preferred alternative antibiotic treatment based on in vitro susceptibilities. Contact lens wear was the major risk factor for Nocardia keratitis in South Florida. Overall visual acuity treatment outcomes of patients were favorable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number11
JournalJournal of Ophthalmic Inflammation and Infection
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Contact-lens keratitis
  • Nocardia keratitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Nocardia keratitis: amikacin nonsusceptibility, risk factors, and treatment outcomes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this