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Gram +ve, branching filamentous bacteria

Human pathogenic actinomycetes belong to 4 genera-Actinomyces, Streptomyces, Nocardia and Actinomadura
  1. Actinomyces -non acid fast, anaerobic/ microaerophilic. Normal commensals of mouth, GIT and vagina
  2. Actinomycosis: Usually endogenous in origin due to trauma, poor hygiene and foreign bodies
  3. Indurated swelling, sinus, discharge of sulphur granules, “sun ray” appearance
  4.  A. israeli most common species
  5. Cervicofacial (most common), thoracic, abdominal, pelvic (IUD use), punch actinomycosis    (infection of the hand acquired by injury of the knuckles by adversary’s teeth)
  6. “Spider colonies” on solid media like Brain-heart infusion broth
  7. Fluffy balls at bottom of liquid media
  8. Treatment-penicillin/Tetracyclines for several months +/- surgery

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