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Disseminated Actinomycosis With Multifocal Abscesses

Tom, Trisha S.M. PharmD*†; Villeneuve, David PharmD*; Terriff, Colleen M. PharmD, BCPS (AQ ID), AAHIVE*†

Infectious Diseases in Clinical Practice: May 2010 - Volume 18 - Issue 3 - p 204-207
doi: 10.1097/IPC.0b013e3181c29823
Case Reports

Disseminated actinomycosis is a rare infection most commonly caused by Actinomyces israelii or Actinomyces gerencseriae, commensal gram-positive, filamentous, branching anaerobic bacilli in human mouths and gastrointestinal tracts. We describe an otherwise healthy patient who presented with multifocal nodular abscesses in his brain, liver, kidneys, soft tissue, spinal cord, and muscles. Wound and blood cultures yielded Actinomyces israelii, Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, and Fusobacterium species. The source of this disseminated actinomycosis is unknown but suspected to have originated from the patient's mouth. We report one of the rare cases of complicated widespread actinomycosis and describe its presentation, treatment, and secondary complications.

From the *College of Pharmacy, Washington State University; and †Department of Pharmacy, Deaconess Medical Center, Spokane, WA.

Reprints: Colleen M Terriff, PharmD, BCPS (AQ ID), AAHIVE, Pharmacy Department, Deaconess Medical Center, 800 W 5th Ave, Spokane, WA 99204. E-mail:

The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.