Rhodococcus equi is an emerging opportunistic pathogen of human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients. Thirty-nine isolates of R. equi from immunocompromised patients with and without AIDS were analyzed for the presence of virulence plasmid DNA, expression of 15- to 17-kDa antigens, and their pathogenicities in mice. Of the human isolates, eight contained an 85-kb virulence plasmid, expressed 15- to 17-kDa antigens, and were virulent in mice. Nineteen isolates carried cryptic plasmids of various sizes, and the remaining 12 isolates did not contain any plasmids. These 31 isolates did not express virulence-associated antigens and were not virulent in mice. The results suggested that opportunistic infections in immunocompromised patients could be caused by both virulent and avirulent R. equi strains and that the pathogenesis of R. equi infection in immunocompromised patients appears to be different from that which occurs in foals
To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.