Case Report

Infection

, Volume 41, Issue 5, pp 1025-1027

First online:

Actinomyces meyeri: from “lumpy jaw” to empyema

  • A. AttawayAffiliated withWestern Michigan University School of Medicine Email author 
  • , T. FlynnAffiliated withWestern Michigan University School of Medicine

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Abstract

While the most common presentation of actinomycosis is cervicofacial disease, or “lumpy jaw syndrome,” Actinomyces meyeri has a predilection for pulmonary disease as well as dissemination to distant organs. We describe a 61-year-old Caucasian male with a relapsing-remitting mandibular sinus tract who would go on to develop weight loss, dyspnea, and a cough productive of malodorous sputum. Imaging revealed a right lower lobe pneumonia and a large left sided empyema. He underwent thoracotomy and decortication on the left side, and 1 L of foul-smelling purulent fluid was drained. Culture grew Actinomyces meyeri. He completed an extended antibiotic course and had his teeth extracted with good clinical outcome.