by Krisha McCoy, MS
Actinomycosis is a bacterial infection that causes pus to collect in the body. The type depends on where it starts:
Rarely, the infection can spread from one place in the body to another.
Certain bacteria cause actinomycosis. They are normal in the mouth and sometimes in the bowels. They get into the body through breaks in the tissues. Tooth decay causes infections in the mouth and jaw. This is the most common type.
Risk Factors TOP
Your chances of this infection are higher if you:
Symptoms depend on the where the infection starts. These may involve:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. You may have:
Antibiotics treat the infection. Care also involves draining the infection site.
It’s common for the infection to come back, even after getting care.
Taking care of your mouth and teeth are the best way to lower your chances of infection. This involves:
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
Mouth Healthy—American Dental Association
Canadian Dental Association
Actinomycosis. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/infectious-diseases/anaerobic-bacteria/actinomycosis. Updated January 2018. Accessed May 21, 2018.
Cervicofacial actinomycosis. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated June 5, 2017. Accessed May 21, 2018.
Hall V. Actinomyces—gathering evidence of human colonization and infection. Anaerobe. 2008;14(1):1-7.
Naik NH, Russo TA. Bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaw: the role of actinomyces. Clin Infect Dis. 2009;49(11):1729-1732.
Sullivan DC, Chapman SW. Bacteria that masquerade as fungi: actinomycosis/nocardia. Proc Am Thorac Soc. 2010;7(3):216-221.
Valour F, Sénéchal A, Dupieux C, et al. Actinomycosis: etiology, clinical features, diagnosis, treatment, and management. Infect Drug Resist. 2014;7:183-197.
Last reviewed May 2018 by David L. Horn, MD, FACP
Last Updated: 5/21/2018
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.