Actinomycosis


Actinomycosis is a non-contagious rare and chronic condition which occurs due to actinomycetales in the tissues of human body. It slowly migrates all over the body tissues damaging them and forming abscesses.


Types of Actinomycosis

Neck and face known as cervicofacial actinomycosis.
The chest – thoracic actinomycosis
abdominal actinomycosis
pelvic actinomycosis, commonly found in women.

Symptoms

Cervicofacial actinomycosis

There will be swollen lumps on the cheek or on the neck that may gradually increase in size and number.
The skin on the lumps may turn into reddish, or bluish In color.
In the early stages the lumps will be tender, but it must be painless and hard when touched.
Occasional fever will be there.
The patient will find it difficult to eat as jaw muscled will be affected.
Narrow passages open up in the skin through which pus comes out.

Thoracic actinomycosis

  • fever,
  • weight loss,
  • fatigue,
  • loss of appetite,
  • shortness of breath,
  • chest pain
  • sinus tracts open up on the chest
  • dry cough
  • sputum with blood

Abdominal actinomycosis

  • a mild fever,
  • weight loss,
  • fatigue,
  • a change in your bowel habits,
  • abdominal pain,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting
  • a sensation of swelling on the abdomen
  • sinus tract on the abdomen

Pelvic actinomycosis

  • lower abdominal pain,
  • irregular, or abnormal, vaginal bleeding, or discharge,
  • loss of appetite,
  • fatigue,
  • mild fever, and
  • swelling in your pelvis region

Causes

Actinomycosis is caused by the strain of bacteria called actinomycetales which is found in mouth, lower intestinal tract and in women in pelvis and fallopian tubes.

Actinomycosis is an opportunistic infection. Cervicofacial actinomycosis can occur due to dental surgery, such as a tooth extraction, or root canal surgery , jaw surgery, tooth infection or gum disease and general injury, or trauma, to the mouth, jaw, or throat. Thoracic actinomycosis occurs when the bacteria that get mixed up with the food particles are passed into the windpipe rather than to the stomach. Abdominal actinomycosis happens when some perforations happen to the wall of the intestine, like a burst appendix, and the bacteria are passed through that. Pelvic actinomycosis occurs usually in women who use intra-uterine contraceptive devices for a period of eight or more years.

Treatment

The first hand treatment for actinomycosis is the prescription of antibiotics over a long course of time, initially starting with intravenous antibiotics followed by oral antibiotics.

Surgery may be done to repair damaged tissue or to drain the pus in the abscesses.

Complications

Abscesses can occur in any part of the body, spreading throughout your body. If the infection is in the mouth, it can spread to larynx, tongue and trachea. The spreading of infection to the brain causes abscesses in the brain.

Prevention

  • Brush your teeth regularly.
  • Floss teeth once a day.
  • Use mouthwash with fluoride once a day.
  • Avoid sweet, sticky food as well as starchy food and white bread..

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