Infect Chemother.  2015 Sep;47(3):183-189. 10.3947/ic.2015.47.3.183.

A Case of Recurrent Meningitis Caused by Rhodococcus species Successfully Treated with Antibiotic Treatment and Intrathecal Injection of Vancomycin through an Ommaya Reservoir

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Human infection by Rhodococcus species is rare and mostly limited to immunocompromised hosts such as patients infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or organ transplant recipients. The most common strain is R. equi, and the most common clinical presentation is pulmonary infection, reported in 80% of Rhodococcus spp. infections. The central nervous system is an uncommon infection site. We report a case of a patient with pneumonia, brain abscess, and recurrent meningitis caused by Rhodococcus spp. He initially presented with pneumonia with necrosis, which progressed to brain abscess and recurrent meningitis. Rhodococcus spp. was identified from the cerobrospinal fluid (CSF) collected during his fourth hospital admission. Despite prolonged treatment with appropriate antibiotics, meningitis recurred three times. Finally, in order to administer antibiotics directly into the CSF and bypass the blood-brain barrier, an Ommaya reservoir was inserted for administration of 90 days of intrathecal vancomycin and amikacin in conjunction with intravenous and oral antibiotics; the patient was finally cured with this treatment regimen.


Rhodococcus species; Recurrent meningitis; Ommaya reservoir; Vancomycin
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