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Pulmonary Actinomycosis


An infection caused by Actinomyces israelii or related actinomycete bacteria that causes disease of the chest, mouth and jaw,and pelvis.

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The organism causing the disease normally is found in the mouth and gastrointestinal tract of humans. Poor dental hygiene anddental abscess may predispose it to facial lesions. In the chest, it results in cavities in the lung and pleural effusion, which mayspread through the chest wall and produce sinuses. The disease is rare, and the incidence is 5 out of 10 million people. It is veryrare in children.

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Signs & Symptoms

lethargy- weight loss- fever- cough with sputum- draining sinuses- night sweats- shortness of breath- chest pain

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Good dental hygiene helps prevent the disease.

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Therapy Modern Medicine

The objective of therapy is to control the infection, but response is slow. Prolonged therapy with penicillin or a substitute is necessary to ensure a cure. Surgical drainage of the pleural effusion and resection (surgical removal) of lung lesions may benecessary to control the infection.

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