Actinomycosis, ak tuh nuh my KOH sihs, is a rare infectious disease, from Actinomyces bacteria, that affects human beings. more...
It is characterised by the formation of painful abscesses in the mouth, lungs, or digestive organs. These abscesses grow larger as the disease progresses, often over a period of months. In severe cases, the abscesses may break through bone and muscle to the skin, where they break open and leak large amounts of pus.
Actinomycosis occurs in cattle and other animals as a disease called lumpy jaw. This name refers to the large abscesses that grow on the head and neck of the infected animal.
Actinomycosis is caused by any of several members of a group of bacteria called actinomyces. These bacteria are anaerobes - that is, they cannot survive in the presence of large amounts of oxygen. Actinomyces normally live in the small spaces between the teeth and gums. They cause infection only when they can multiply freely in places where oxygen cannot reach them. The three most common sites of infection are decayed teeth, the lungs, and the intestines.
Doctors use penicillin to treat actinomycosis.
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