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In 1898 with Roux, Nocard studied certain fungi known as nocardia which are now classed with the Actinomycetes which are bacteria with narrow branched vegetative cells superficially resembling fungi. The organism may afflict previously fit people, but it has a propensity for causing CNS disease in those who are debilitated with altered cell immunity or receiving cytotoxic or steroid medication. Nocard was also interested in the relation of tuberculosis in animals with that of humans and he studied the bulbar lesion of rabies, tetanus, anthrax, cholera, and glanders. In 1898 he discovered the bacillus of psittacosis or parrot fever, also eponymically known as nocardosis.
Nocard was a veterinarian and was honoured philatelically by France for his contributions to veterinary medicine. The first School of Veterinary Medicine was opened in Lyons in France in 1762. In 1951 France honoured Nocard with two other veterinarians Bouley and Chauvau, portrayed at the gate of the Lyons School of Veterinary Medicine (Stanley Gibbons 307, Scott 655).