Jul 28, 2023
Actinomycosis, an uncommon bacterial infection, causes pus-filled areas (abscesses) that are surrounded by rough tissue. It originates from Actinomyces bacteria. Microorganisms known as actinomyces are safe and normally occur in your body. However, they could begin to grow in abnormal places as a result of a procedure, an accident, or a disease.
Actinomycosis gradually infects surrounding tissues, frequently leaving a tunnelling hole (an entry under your skin) that lasts for a very long time. Pus that is yellow in color and contains "sulphur granules" fills the wound. The sulphur granules are aggregations made up of immune cells and bacterium components. (Their name is derived from their yellow appearance; they don't actually contain sulphur.)
Sometimes, weeks or months after the infection first manifests, actinomycosis symptoms can occur.
Read this blog further to get a quick overview of this important topic for MICROBIOLOGY to ace your NEET PG exam preparation.
The most typical cause of actinomycosis is bacteria called Actinomyces israelii (A. israelii). However, numerous other Actinomyces bacterium species, such as A. naeslundii, A. odontolyticus, A. viscosus, A. gerencseriae, and others, can also be the culprit.
Actinomyces typically inhabit mucous membranes on your neck, gastrointestinal tract, and vagina. These are only a few of the many bacteria that dwell on or in your body without causing any harm. However, if they enter an area where they shouldn't be, they will begin to reproduce and spread an illness.
Actinomycosis symptoms vary depending on the location of the infection. They may consist of:
Since Actinomyces are slow-growing, it's possible that symptoms won't appear for months or even years after the procedure or illness that caused the infection.
The mouth and face are the two regions that actinomyces most frequently infect. However, actinomycosis can also affect other areas of the body. The type of actinomycosis is identified by the area of your body that is infected by healthcare professionals:
Actinomycosis risk factors include anything that can harm uterine, intestinal, or oral tissue. This comprises:
Actinomyces bacteria invade areas of your body where they shouldn't, causing actinomycosis. For instance, a mucous membrane tear brought on by surgery, an injury, or some illnesses can let germs enter a portion of your body where they don't often reside. Bacteria can also flourish in mucosal membranes when foreign items are present.
Actinomycosis is most frequently contracted as a result of gum disease or dental operations. Additional factors include:
Your symptoms and a fluid or tissue sample are used to diagnose actinomycosis by a medical professional. Actinomyces or the granules it produces are searched for by a pathologist under a microscope in the sample.
Rare and sometimes misdiagnosed as cancer, actinomycosis is a fungus. Occasionally, a thorough diagnosis may take a while.
Antibiotics are administered in large doses to treat actinomycosis. You often receive antibiotics from a physician for a few days or weeks via an IV in your arm, after which you continue to take antibiotics in pill form at home. They could also need to perform debridement, which is the removal of dead tissue from infected regions.
Drugs for the treatment of actinomycosis
To treat actinomycosis, a medical professional might prescribe one of the following antibiotics:
By maintaining good oral health, you can lower your risk of developing the most prevalent kind of actinomycosis, cervicofacial actinomycosis. This comprises:
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