Pulmonary actinomycosis is a rare lung infection caused by bacteria.
Actinomycosis - pulmonary; Actinomycosis - thoracic
Pulmonary actinomycosis is caused by certain bacteria normally found in the mouth and gastrointestinal tract. The bacteria often do not cause harm. But poor dental hygiene and tooth abscess can increase your risk for lung infections caused by these bacteria.
People with the following health problems also have a higher chance of developing the infection:
The disease is rare in the United States. It may occur at any age, but is most common in people 30 to 60 years old. Men get this infection more often than women.
The infection often comes on slowly. It may be weeks or months before diagnosis is confirmed.
Symptoms may include any of the following:
The goal of treatment is to cure the infection. It may take a long time to get better. To be cured, you may need to receive the antibiotic penicillin through a vein (intravenously) for 2 to 6 weeks. Then you need to take penicillin by mouth for a long period. Some people need up to 18 months of antibiotic treatment.
If you cannot take penicillin, your provider will prescribe other antibiotics.
Surgery may be needed to drain fluid from the lungs and control the infection.
Florence Fenollar is in Marseille, France. Fenollar is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Pulmonary Actinomycosis. She is also highly rated in 13 other conditions, according to our data. Her top areas of expertise are Actinomycosis, Whipple Disease, Pulmonary Actinomycosis, and Head Lice.
Jean-christophe Lagier is in Marseille, France. Lagier is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Pulmonary Actinomycosis. They are also highly rated in 11 other conditions, according to our data. Their top areas of expertise are Actinomycosis, Whipple Disease, Pulmonary Actinomycosis, and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome.
Florent Valour is in Lyon, France. Valour is rated as a Distinguished expert by MediFind in the treatment of Pulmonary Actinomycosis. He is also highly rated in 8 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Infectious Arthritis, Septic Arthritis, Pulmonary Actinomycosis, and Actinomycosis.
Most people get better after treatment with antibiotics.
Complications may include:
Call your provider if:
Good dental hygiene may help reduce your risk for actinomycosis.
Brook I. Actinomycosis. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 313.
Russo TA. Agents of actinomycosis. In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 254.