What’s actinomicosis? What can cause actinomicosis?

MNT Knowledge Center

Actinomycosis is really a rare infectious microbial disease brought on by Actinomyces species. Nearly all microbial infections stay in one part of the body – your body’s tissue steer clear of the infection from distributing. In the event of actinomicosis the bacteria do progressively spread through tissue with other areas of the body. Good examples of bacteria that create this kind of infection are Actinomyces israelii (A. gerencseriae) or Propionibacterium propionicus.

Although humans could be affected, actinomicosis is more prone to affect creatures, for example cattle (lumpy jaw). Swine, horses and dogs may also get the infection. Wild creatures and sheep may take a hit more rarely.

This short article concentrates on actinomicosis in humans.

In nearly all cases actinomyces bacteria appear in the liner in our mouth, throat, digestive system and also the female’s vagina. They live there harmlessly and just become harmful when we create a disease or damage tissue lining. Actinomyces bacteria are anaerobic – they are doing well insidewithin all tissue where oxygen levels are extremely low. This will make them potentially harmful.

Painful abscesses form, which grow because the disease progresses, usually during a period of several weeks. Sometimes it may be so severe that surrounding bone and muscle is permeated and also the skin breaks open, dripping considerable amounts of pus.

Actinomycosis isn’t contagious because anaerobic bacteria cannot survive outdoors the body.

Actinomycosis can happen in almost any area of the body where there’s tissue. Song of the body tend to be more generally affected, which is classed into four principle types:

  • Oral cervicofacial actinomycosis – usually caused by dental problems. The infection occurs inside th mouth, jaw or neck. According to the National Health Service (NHS), UK, approximately half of all actinomycoses are of this type. The National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA writes that this type of infection is harder to diagnose, and its incidence is increasing. Most cases of oral cervicofacial actinomycosis are due to poor dental hygiene.
  • Thoracic actinomycosis – infection develops in the airways and lungs. Experts believe the infection occurs after an individual has breathed in droplets of tainted fluid. Between 15% to 20% of all cases are of this type.
  • Abdominal actinomycosis – infection occurs in the abdomen. People can develop this type of infection if they have appendicitis as a secondary complication. Swallowing a contaminated chicken bone can also be a cause.
  • Pelvic actinomycosis – the infection develops within the pelvis. In the majority of cases the infection spreads from the vagina, so it only occurs in females. Women who use the coil have a higher chance of developing this type of infection. The coil is also known as the IUD (intrauterine device), it is a T-shaped contraceptive device that fits in inside the womb. 10% of all cases are of this type.

Actinomycosis affects about one in every 300,000 within the United kingdom every year, based on the NHS. The nation has roughly 100 hospitalizations because of actinomycosis yearly.

Nations with higher use of antibiotics and services will often have significantly lower incidences of actinomycosis. Experts say we can’t reliably estimate how rare actinomycosis is globally.

Three-quarters of cases are male, aged between 20 and 60.

Reaction to antibiotics is slow and treatment might take several several weeks. In most cases, with the proper treatment patients have a very good outlook. Penicillin is often used, as well as for individuals having a penicillin allergy, doxyccyclin can be used.

Not frequently, the individual may need minor surgery to correct affected tissue in order to drain an absess.

Sources: Nhs, National Institutes of Health