Actinomycetes

Categorization
Cell Wall: Gram Positive Shape: Filamentous Rod
Overview
  • Actinomycetes are a group of non-spore-forming bacterial rods which remain attached following division and thus adopt a filamentous arrangement.
Transmission
  • Actinomycetes are likely part of the flora of a wide variety of mucosal tissues. Inoculation probably occurs through traumatic breaks of mucosa followed by contiguous spread.
Clinical Consequences
  • The primary manifestation of actinomycetes infection is the development of a local abscesses. These include lung and abdominal abscesses as well as abscesses in the jaw and pelvis. Lesions are frequently mistaken for tumors.
Diagnosis
  • A unique feature of actinomycetes is that fluids draining from sites of infection reveal characteristic granules containing the organisms and host cells embedded within a mineral matrix. Historically, these granules have been termed "Sulfur Grnaules" although they have no relation to sulfur the element.
Treatment
  • Penicillin G