All to Know about Actinomycosis


Actinomycosis is a sporadic kind of infection triggered by a number of bacteria known as actinomycetaceae.

Since the bacteria are not able to enter into the body's tissue, most of the bacterial infections are limited to only one section of the body.


Though, actinomycosis is not usual because the infection in this condition is able to move bit by bit and steadily go through body tissues.

Depending on the kind of infection, signs and symptoms of actinomycosis seem vary. However thy can include:

  • Inflammation and swelling of the affected tissues.
  • Creating damage to tissues that leads to creation of scar tissue
  • creation of abscesses (pus-filled inflammations)
  • minor dumps or tunnels that grow in tissue and leak a kind of lump-filled pus

Kinds of actinomycosis

On paper, actinomycosis could grow nearly anyplace inside the tissue of the body. However, the disorder is inclined to affect specific areas of the body and could be categorized into four leading kinds.

Which are:

  • oral cervicofacial actinomycosis
  • thoracic actinomycosis
  • abdominal actinomycosis
  • pelvic actinomycosis

These kinds are described below.

Oral cervicofacial actinomycosis

Oral cervicofacial actinomycosis is the place where the contagion grows in the jaw, neck or mouth. Long ago, if the disorder grew in the jaw it was then identified as lumpy jaw.

Most of the cases of oral cervicofacial actinomycosis are triggered by dental issues, like jaw injury or a tooth decay.

Oral cervicofacial actinomycosis as the most common kind of actinomycosis, accounts for 50-70% of all the cases.

Thoracic actinomycosis

Thoracic actinomycosis is the place where the contagion grows into the lungs or the associated airways.

Most cases of thoracic actinomycosis are thought to be caused by people accidentally inhaling droplets of contaminated fluid into their lungs.

Thoracic actinomycosis accounts for an estimated 15-20% of cases.

Abdominal actinomycosis


Abdominal actinomycosis is where the contagion grows in the tummy.

This kind of actinomycosis could have a variety of possible causes. It could grow as a subordinate difficulty of other common contagions, like appendicitis, or after accidentally absorbing an external object, like a chicken bone.

Abdominal actinomycosis is responsible for nearly 20% of all of the cases.

Pelvic actinomycosis

Pelvic actinomycosis is the place where the contagion grows in the pelvis.

It typically just happens among females since most of the cases are occured when the actinomyces bacteria are scattered along the female genitals into the pelvis.

Most of the cases of pelvic actinomycosis are considered to be linked with the long-lasting use of an intrauterine device (IUD). This kind of contraceptive is usually recognized as the coil.

Pelvic actinomycosis often happens when the coil is left in for the time longer the recommendation of the manufacturer.

This type is responsible for almost 10 percent of all of the cases.


Symptoms of this might comprise any of the following signs:

  • Those certain draining sores in the skin that happen on the chest wall from lung infection with actinomyces
  • Fever
  • Slight pain or no pain at all
  • Inflammation or a rigid, reddish or even red or purple lump on the face or the upper neck
  • Loss of weight



Actinomycosis is a sporadic contagion. Due to the quick spread of the infection, actinomycosis was at first considered to be a fungal contagion. However, a family of bacteria called Actinomycetaceae causes it. The bacteria members in this family include:

  • Actinomyces israelii
  • Actinomyces naeslundii
  • Actinomyces viscosus
  • Actinomyces odontolyticus

Naturally these bacteria live inside your body cavities such as your nose and throat though they don’t typically cause infection except when they can break through the protective lining of the body cavities.


Actinomycosis is typically diagnosed by a fluid or tissue sample from the affected area. The physician employs an optical microscope to examine the sample for Actinomyces bacteria. Such bacteria look like a yellowish granules.




Actinomycosis typically well responds to those treatment involving a long-lasing employment of antibiotics.


A primary period of injection of antibiotics is typically suggested for 2 to 6 weeks. It should also be followed by antibiotic pills for yet another 6 to 12 months.

Usually a nurse teaches you to learn how to take an antibiotic injection at home. Therefore, you are not required to stay in hospital for all of the period of the course.

The favored medications for handling actinomycosis are benzylpenicillin, used for the antibiotic injections, as well as amoxicillin pills.

For some of the cases, other bacteria are also presented and over one antibiotic or other antibiotics will be required.

These antibiotics bring about some side effects including:

  • diarrhea 
  • feeling sick (nausea)
  • rash on skin
  • rise of vulnerability to fungal infections, like oral thrush (a fungal contagion happening in mouth)

For those allergic to penicillin, alternative antibiotics like erythromycin or tetracycline could be employed.


For some of the cases, minor surgery could be necessary to mend the injured tissue and send pus out of abscesses.


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