This information is provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD).
Actinomycosis is a bacterial infection that occurs most often in the face and neck. Symptoms of actinomycosis include a neck mass, jaw or face pain, and formation of pockets of pus (abscess). When actinomycosis occurs in other parts of the body, symptoms can include cough, chest or stomach pain, fever, and weight loss. It is usually caused by bacteria called Actinomyces israelii. These bacteria are found normally in the mouth, gastrointestinal tract, and female genital tract, and do not cause an infection unless there is a break in the skin or mucosa. The infection is not contagious. Actinomycosis is diagnosed based on the history and clinical exam, and through specific laboratory tests. It is treated with antibiotics.
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