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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Other Names for this Disease
  • Actinomyces israeli
  • Actinomycetes
  • Anaerobic actinomyces infection
  • Canaliculitis
  • Keratoactinomycosis
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Actinomycosis is a chronic bacterial infection that commonly affects the face and neck. It is usually caused by an anaerobic bacteria called Actinomyces israelii. Actinomyces are normal inhabitants of the mouth, gastrointestinal tract, and female genital tract, and do not cause an infection unless there is a break in the skin or mucosa. The infection usually occurs in the face and neck, but can sometimes occur in the chest, abdomen, pelvis, or other areas of the body. The infection is not contagious.[1][2]
Last updated: 4/28/2011


  1. Actinomycosis. MedlinePlus. 2009; Accessed 4/28/2011.
  2. Actinomycosis. DermNet. April 2010; Accessed 4/28/2011.
Your Questions Answered
by the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center

Please contact us with your questions about Actinomycosis. We will answer your question and update these pages with new resources and information.

Basic Information

  • DermNet NZ is an online resource about skin diseases developed by the New Zealand Dermatological Society Incorporated. DermNet NZ provides information about this condition.
  • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
  • The Merck Manuals Online Medical Library provides information on this condition. Click on the link to view the information.

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. Click on the link to view this information. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Actinomycosis. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.