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Actinomycosis - Symptoms and Treatment of Actinomycosis
Actinomycosis is a chronic inflammatory disease of cattle, hogs, and sometimes humans, caused by microorganisms of the genus Actinomyces. It is a inflammatory disease of cattle, hogs, and sometimes humans and it is characterized by lumpy tumors of the mouth, neck,and chest. It is also called lumpy jaw. Actinomycosis is generally a rare disease, slowly progressive bacterial infection primarily caused by the gram-positive anaerobic bacillus Actinomyces israelii, which produces granulomatous, suppurative lesions with abscesses. Fifty percent of actinomycosis cases are of the head and neck region (also called "lumpy jaw" and "cervicofacial actinomycosis"), 15% are in the chest, 20% are in the abdomen, and the rest are in the pelvis, heart, and brain. Men are three times more likely to develop actinomycosis than women.
Actinomycosis is mainly caused by a gram-positive filamentous bacteria that do not form spores and are not acid-fast. The most common isolated species causing actinomycosis are - Actinomyces israeli and Actinomyces gerencseriae, Actinomyces turicensis, Actinomyces radingae, Actinomyces europaeus, followed by Actinomyces naeslundii. Another common cause of actinomycosis is dental abscess or oral surgery. They cause no trouble unless they get through the skin or some other body membrane, as a result of infection. Eventually, the abscess breaks through the skin surface to produce a draining sinus tract. It can be spread by human or animal bites. Tooth extraction, tooth disease, root canal treatment, jaw surgery, or poor dental hygiene can allow Actinomyces israelii to cause an infection in the head and neck region.
Symptoms of Actinomycosis
The main symptom of cervicofacial actinomycosis is the presence of a hard lump on the face or neck. The lump may or may not be red. Fever occurs in some cases. Some of the Common Signs and Symptoms of Actinomycosis are:
Actinomycosis is difficult to treat because of its dense tissue location. Because the diagnosis is difficult to make, surgery becomes important as both diagnosis and treatment of actinomycosis. The treatment of actinomycosis used to be excision of necrotic tissue, followed by cauterization. Other drugs have also been effective. Actinomycosis is difficult to treat because of its dense tissue location.
Surgery is often required to drain the lesion and/or to remove the site of infection in Actinomycosis. To kill the bacteria, standard therapy has included large doses of penicillin given through a vein daily for two to six weeks followed by six to twelve months of penicillin taken by mouth. Tetracycline, clindamycin, or erythromycin may be used instead of penicillin.
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