Journal Article

Human Cervicofacial Actinomycoses: Microbiological Data for 1997 Cases

G. Pulverer, H. Schütt-Gerowitt and K. P. Schaal

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 37, issue 4, pages 490-497
Published in print August 2003 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online August 2003 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/376621
Human Cervicofacial Actinomycoses: Microbiological Data for 1997 Cases

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Actinomycoses are sporadically occurring endogenous polymicrobial inflammatory processes, in which fermentative actinomycetes of the genera Actinomyces, Propionibacterium, or Bifidobacterium act as the principal pathogens. Difficulties in diagnosing the disease in a timely and reliable fashion have led clinicians and microbiologists to grossly underestimate its medical importance. Therefore, we evaluated microbiological and selected clinical data derived from 1997 culture-positive cases of human cervicofacial actinomycoses examined in our laboratories during 1972–1999. The causative actinomycetes belonged to at least 9 different species, among which Actinomyces israelii and Actinomyces gerencseriae predominated. The well-known predisposition of male patients to acquire the disease varied with age and appeared to be especially pronounced in patients aged 20–60 years, the highest incidence being found in female patients aged 11–40 years and in male patients aged 21–50 years. The relevant procedures necessary for diagnosing human actinomycoses reliably, as well as details of their complex etiology, are discussed.

Journal Article.  3946 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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