Actinomyces species

General Information

Patients with actinomycosis require prolonged (6- to 12-month) high doses (to facilitate the drug penetration in abscess and in infected tissues) of penicillin G or amoxicillin, but the duration of antimicrobial therapy could probably be shortened to 3 months in patients in whom optimal surgical resection of infected tissues has been performed. ID consult recommended.

Actinomyces species are non-motile, filamentous, branching, gram-positive and predominantly anaerobic bacteria. The most common species in human disease are A. israelii and A. gerencseriae.

Actinomycosis is a rare chronic disease caused by Actinomyces species that normally colonize the human mouth and digestive and genital tracts.

Women’s Health: Actinomyces is often found in asymptomatic women on pap testing and doesn’t not require treatment. It can however cause pelvic infections and turbo-ovarian abscesses

  • Cervicofacial actinomycosis following dental focus of infection.

  • Pelvic actinomycosis in women can cause turbo-ovarian abscess and PID, but is most often an asymptomatic colonizer found on pap testing

  • Pulmonary actinomycosis in smokers with poor dental hygiene.

  • May mimic the malignancy process in various anatomical sites.

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