Learn About Pulmonary Actinomycosis

What is the definition of Pulmonary Actinomycosis?

Pulmonary actinomycosis is a rare lung infection caused by bacteria.

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What are the alternative names for Pulmonary Actinomycosis?

Actinomycosis - pulmonary; Actinomycosis - thoracic

What are the causes of Pulmonary Actinomycosis?

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:

  • Alcohol use
  • Scars on the lungs (bronchiectasis)
  • COPD

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.

What are the symptoms of Pulmonary Actinomycosis?

The infection often comes on slowly. It may be weeks or months before diagnosis is confirmed.

Symptoms may include any of the following:

  • Chest pain when taking a deep breath
  • Cough with phlegm (sputum)
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Lethargy
  • Night sweats (uncommon)
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What are the current treatments for Pulmonary Actinomycosis?

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.

Who are the top Pulmonary Actinomycosis Local Doctors?
Elite
Highly rated in
13
conditions

IHU Méditerranée Infection

Marseille, FR 

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.

Elite
Highly rated in
11
conditions

IHU Méditerranée Infection

Marseille, FR 

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.

 
 
 
 
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Distinguished
Highly rated in
8
conditions

Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1

Lyon, FR 

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.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Pulmonary Actinomycosis?

Most people get better after treatment with antibiotics.

What are the possible complications of Pulmonary Actinomycosis?

Complications may include:

  • Brain abscess
  • Destruction of parts of the lungs
  • COPD
  • Meningitis
  • Osteomyelitis (bone infection)
When should I contact a medical professional for Pulmonary Actinomycosis?

Call your provider if:

  • You have symptoms of pulmonary actinomycosis
  • Your symptoms get worse or do not improve with treatment
  • You develop new symptoms
  • You have a fever of 101°F (38.3°C) or higher
How do I prevent Pulmonary Actinomycosis?

Good dental hygiene may help reduce your risk for actinomycosis.

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What are the Latest Advances for Pulmonary Actinomycosis?
When sarcoidosis mimics immunodeficiency.
Unusual presentations of actinomycosis: a case series and literature review.
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Pulmonary actinomycosis in children: a case report and literature review.
What are our references for Pulmonary 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.