Actinomyces

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ΕΤΥΜΟΛΟΓΙΑ

Actis meaning ray or beam and mykes meaning fungus. The bacteria form networks that resemble hyphae, giving rise to what is now considered a misnomer.
Gram positive anaerobic/microaerophilic bacteria of the genus actinobacteria.
Actinomyces appears as an amorphous cloud. In this case the pink fringe is the Splendore-Hoeppli phenomenon, thought to be deposits of antigen/antibody complex.

It is a commensal in the oral and nasal cavities, where it can give rise to dental and oral cavity abscesses. It is also a commensal in the bronchial and digestive as well as the female genital tracts of IUCD-wearers (often asymptomatic).[1]

Infection (i.e. invasion) and abscess formation is most common in the oral cavity, typically associated with the teeth, but disease may occur in the other locations where it is a commensal, i.e. thoracic or abdominopelvic disease. Abdominopelvic disease may be seen in appendicitis, where presumbably the mucosal break allows the bacteria to disseminate into the peritoneum.

Usually penicillin sensitive.

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