Nocardia infection develops when you breathe in (inhale) the bacteria. The infection causes pneumonia -like symptoms. The infection can spread to any part of the body.
People at highest risk for nocardia infection are those with a weakened immune system. This includes people who have:
- Been taking steroid medicines or other medicine that weaken the immune system for a long time
- Had an organ transplant
Other people at risk include those with chronic lung problems related to smoking, emphysema, or other infections such as tuberculosis.