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Pulmonary actinomycosis

  • Definition

    Pulmonary actinomycosis is a rare bacterial lung infection.

    Alternative Names

    Actinomycosis - pulmonary

    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    Pulmonary actinomycosis is caused by a species of bacteria normally found in the mouth and gastrointestinal tract, where they do not usually cause harm. However, poor dental hygiene and dental abscess can increase your risk for face, jaw, and lung infections caused by these bacteria.

    Alcohol abuse, having scars on the lungs (bronchiectasis), and emphysema are all associated with lung infections caused by actinomycosis.

    The disease is rare in the U.S., with only about 100 confirmed cases per year. It may occur at any age, but most patients are 30 - 60 years old. Men get this infection more often than women do.