Human actinomycosis is a disease known since the 18th century. It was then that Otto Bollinger produced a description of this unknown condition up to that time. The German scientist used scientific works of botanists about radiant mushrooms Actinomyces bovis. The latter, as it turned out later, were the cause of suppuration in animals.
Causes of the disease actinomycosis
In man, the described disease was first recorded in 1883.It was actinomycosis of a woman's genitals.
As mentioned above, the main causes of actinomycosis are radiant fungi.
The source of infection in this case may be the environment, and the body itself. Nevertheless, the causative agent still penetrates into the person from the outside.
One way or another, actinomycetes fungi settle on the mucous membranes( in the intestine, bronchus or in the mouth) and live there as saprophytes until inflammation occurs on one of the sites. In the latter case, the actinomycetes become active and proceed to increased reproduction.
Methods of penetration of the pathogen into the body are different. The mechanism can be airborne or air-dust. In addition, as a result of various injuries, penetration of fungi through the skin and mucous membranes is possible.
Very often described ailment occurs as a result of a decrease in immunity in many diseases( for example, influenza or tuberculosis, etc.), as well as in hypothermia, pregnancy, etc.
A significant role in the pathogenesis of this disease is played by various kinds of stones( ie stones).They can be salivary, urinary, bilious, caloric. In any case, this is a traumatic factor, plus all stones also serve as carriers of actinomycetes.
Actinomycosis of the maxillofacial region, as a rule, develops under the action of radiant fungi, which form the basis of calculus. Foci of disease of other localization arise as a consequence of autoinfection.
Symptoms and Diagnosis of Actinomycosis
Symptoms that characterize actinomycosis depend on a variety of the disease.
The most common is the maxillofacial type of the disease. In this case, the subcutaneous, cutaneous and muscular forms of the disease are secreted. In the latter case, the disease is localized in intermuscular tissue, usually chewing muscles. The face becomes asymmetric. The resulting softening in the infiltration is soon opened and fistulas are formed in their place, from which pus appears.
In the case of development of actinomycosis of the lung at the onset of the disease, weakness, fever and dry cough are noted. Subsequently, when coughing, mucous sputum begins to form, sometimes with impurities of blood, and symptoms appear that resemble bronchitis.
Infiltrate spreads to the chest wall and skin: a painful swelling of the purple-cyanotic hue occurs. Fistulas are formed, as a rule, connected with the bronchi, in the purulent contents of which are found druses.
With fairly frequent abdominal actinomycosis, the primary foci of the disease occur in the appendix, much less often in the stomach or esophagus. As a secondary lesion in this type of disease acts actinomycosis of the genitals.
The form that causes damage to the musculoskeletal system is manifested by osteomyelitis of the bones of the shins, knees, etc. However, patients thus are able to move normally due to the fact that the function of the joints is practically not disturbed.
Diagnosis of actinomycosis in advanced cases is without difficulty. It is much more difficult to diagnose ailment at the initial stages of its development.
For the diagnosis, an intradermal test with an actinolysate is usually used. In this case, taking into account only a sharply positive result, since weakly positive often appear in diseases of the teeth.
The greatest importance in diagnosing the described disease is the release of actinomycetes from pus.
How to treat human actinomycosis
If a person is diagnosed with actinomycosis, the treatment is usually carried out in a hospital where surgical treatment of the focus can be performed with scraping of the granulations and excision of the affected tissues.
Also, when deciding on how to treat actinomycosis, do not forget about antibiotics. For example, dicloxacillin( if a staphylococcal infection has developed) can be prescribed, and in the case of an anaerobic infection, metronidazole is usually used.