Actinomyces

(ak″tĭ-nō-mī′sēz″, ak-tin″ō)

[actino- + Gr. mykēs, mushroom, fungus]
A genus of bacteria of the family Actinomycetaceae that contains gram-positive staining filaments. These bacteria usually cause disease in the cervicofacial (lumpy jaw), thoracic, and abdominal areas of humans.

Actinomyces antibioticus

A species from which the actinomycin antibiotics are obtained.

Actinomyces bovis

A species that causes actinomycosis in cattle.

Actinomyces israelii

A species that causes actinomycosis in humans. It is a normal inhabitant of the mouth, but can cause abscesses in the gingiva or the jaw, as well as in the abdominal or thoracic cavities. Viewed microscopically material from these abscesses contain purulent material within which are found yellow-colored sulfur granules.

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