Actinomycosis history and symptoms

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


Actinomycosis can present with diverse clinical presentation, which include systemic flu-like symptoms and symptoms due to focal involvement of organs by the bacteria.


Symptoms of actinomycosis include :[1][2][3][4][5][6][7]

Type History Symptoms
Cervicofacial actinomycosis
  • Tender swollen lumps on cheeks or neck during initial stages and later become hard and painless.
  • Fever
  • Difficulty chewing due to stiffness of jaw
  • Sinus tracts on the lumps which drain yellow granular material
  • Reddish or bluish discoloration of skin over the lump
Thoracic actinomycosis History of aspiration (seizure disorder, alcoholism, and poor dental hygiene)
Abdominal actinomycosis
Pelvic actinomycosis IUD (intrauterine device)
CNS actinomycosis Trauma


  1. Bonnefond S, Catroux M, Melenotte C, Karkowski L, Rolland L, Trouillier S, Raffray L (2016). "Clinical features of actinomycosis: A retrospective, multicenter study of 28 cases of miscellaneous presentations". Medicine (Baltimore). 95 (24): e3923. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000003923. PMC 4998488. PMID 27311002.
  2. Sung HY, Lee IS, Kim SI, Jung SE, Kim SW, Kim SY, Chung MK, Kim WC, Oh ST, Kang WK (2011). "Clinical features of abdominal actinomycosis: a 15-year experience of a single institute". J. Korean Med. Sci. 26 (7): 932–7. doi:10.3346/jkms.2011.26.7.932. PMC 3124725. PMID 21738348.
  3. Choi MM, Baek JH, Beak JH, Lee JN, Park S, Lee WS (2009). "Clinical features of abdominopelvic actinomycosis: report of twenty cases and literature review". Yonsei Med. J. 50 (4): 555–9. doi:10.3349/ymj.2009.50.4.555. PMC 2730619. PMID 19718405.
  4. Smego RA (1987). "Actinomycosis of the central nervous system". Rev Infect Dis. 9 (5): 855–65. PMID 3317731.
  5. Meethal AC, Pattamparambath M, Balan A, Kumar NR, Sathyabhama S (2016). "Actinomycotic Osteomyelitis of the Maxilla - A Delusive Presentation". J Clin Diagn Res. 10 (7): ZJ01–3. doi:10.7860/JCDR/2016/19171.8086. PMC 5020198. PMID 27630971.
  6. Shikino K, Ikusaka M, Takada T (2015). "Cervicofacial actinomycosis". J Gen Intern Med. 30 (2): 263. doi:10.1007/s11606-014-3001-z. PMC 4314475. PMID 25280832.
  7. Higashi Y, Nakamura S, Ashizawa N, Oshima K, Tanaka A, Miyazaki T, Izumikawa K, Yanagihara K, Yamamoto Y, Miyazaki Y, Mukae H, Kohno S (2017). "Pulmonary Actinomycosis Mimicking Pulmonary Aspergilloma and a Brief Review of the Literature". Intern. Med. 56 (4): 449–453. doi:10.2169/internalmedicine.56.7620. PMID 28202870.

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