Actinomyces meyeri: from “lumpy jaw” to empyema
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- Attaway, A. & Flynn, T. Infection (2013) 41: 1025. doi:10.1007/s15010-013-0453-8
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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.