Saturday, May 20, 2017

Microbiology of Actinomyces vs Nocardia mnemonic

Hello! Let's go back to Microbiology today.

Nocardia typically appear as delicate filamentous gram-positive branching rods that appear similar to Actinomyces species.

Nocardia can usually be differentiated from Actinomyces by acid-fast staining, as Nocardia typically exhibit varying degrees of acid fastness due to the mycolic acid content of the cell wall.

Another useful clue is that Nocardia grow under aerobic conditions, whereas Actinomyces grow under anaerobic conditions.

How to remember this? Remember one mnemonic, the other one is the other one. Okay?

So let's start with nocardia.
nocarDIA. nocarDICA. ACID fast!
noCARDIA. Heart needs oxygen. Aerobic organism.

Therefore, the other one, Actinomyces is anaerobic, non acid fast.

Treatment mnemonic: PANT
Penicillin Actinomyces
Nocardia TMP-SMX

That's all!

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