Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Actinomycosis Overview

What is actinomycosis?
A person with actinomycosis has a rare infection, caused by Actinomyces bacteria, which are present normally in the nose, mouth, throat, and intestine. Actinomycosis infection in the lung is called pulmonary actinomycosis.

What are the symptoms of actinomycosis?
Actinomycosis infections tend to form abscesses, which are walled-off collections of pus. Pus is made up of infected tissue and white blood cells. Actinomycosis may occur in the face, jaw, neck, lung, or abdomen.

How does the doctor treat actinomycosis?
Actinomycosis may require long-term treatment with antibiotics. Some lesions may require incision and drainage. With early treatment, the infection resolves completely.

Continue to Actinomycosis Symptoms

Last Updated: Jul 21, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Actinomycosis References
  1. Felz MW, Smith MR. Disseminated actinomycosis: multisystem mimicry in primary care. South Med J. 2003 Mar;96(3):294-9. [12659364]
  2. Funke G, von Graevenitz A: Infections due to Actinomyces neuii (former "CDC coryneform group 1" bacteria). Infection 1995 Mar-Apr; 23(2): 73-5. [7622266]
  3. Smego RA Jr, Foglia G: Actinomycosis. Clin Infect Dis 1998 Jun; 26(6): 1255-61. [9636842]
  4. Sudhakar SS, Ross JJ. Short-term treatment of actinomycosis: two cases and aClin Infect Dis. 2004 Feb 1;38(3):444-7. [14727221]
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