Last reviewed 01/2018
Actinomycosis is rare, chronic bacterial infection which results in a slowly progressive granulomatous disease.
- the bacteria which is a filamentous Gram positive anaerobic bacteria from the Actinomycetaceae family (genus Actinomyces) is a normal colonizing organism of the human oropharynx, gastrointestinal tract, and urogenital tract.
- it is mainly an endogenous infection where a breech in the mucous membrane results in bacteria invading the local structures and organs and causing a disease
- A israelii is the commonest human pathogen while less common species include A naeslundii, A odontolyticus, A viscosus, A meyeri, A turicensis, and A radingae.
Often the bacteria coexists with other normal commensals e. g - Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans (previously Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans), fusobacteria, bacteroides, staphylococci (including S aureus),streptococci (including β haemolytic streptococci and S pneumoniae), or Enterobacteriaceae but precise pattern of organisms depends on the site of infection (1).
The infection spreads along the fascial planes and occasionally by the blood-stream, but not via the lymphatics.Thermophilic actinomycetes found in hay are the cause of the extrinsic allergic alveolitis termed farmer's lung.
risk factors for actinomycosis
diseases caused by actinomycetes