Antimicrobial agents played a miraculous role in the treatment of bacterial infections until resistant bacteria became widespread. Besides antimicrobial-resistant bacteria, many factors can influence the cure of infection. Nocardia infection may be a good example which is difficult to cure with antimicrobial agents alone. A 66-year-old man developed soft tissue infection of the right buttock and thigh. He was given prednisolone and azathioprine for pachymeningitis 3 months prior to admission. Despite surgical and antimicrobial treatment (sulfamethoxazoletrimethoprim), the infection spread to the femur and osteomyelitis developed. The case showed that treatment of bacterial infection is not always as successful as was once thought because recent isolates of bacteria are more often resistant to various antimicrobial agents, intracellular parasites are difficult to eliminate even with the active drug in vitro, and infections in some sites such as bone are refractory to treatment especially when the patient is in a compromised state. In conclusion, for the treatment of infections, clinicians need to rely on laboratory tests more than before and have to consider the influence of various host factors.
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