Cervicofacial actinomycosis

Int J Dermatol. 2020 Oct;59(10):1185-1190. doi: 10.1111/ijd.14833. Epub 2020 Mar 11.


Cervicofacial actinomycosis is an uncommon, chronic, suppurative, and granulomatous bacterial infection. It is often of dental origin and tends to mimic other dental infections, granulomatous disorders, and cancers. The initial diagnostic workup, predicated upon imaging and tissue biopsies, is frequently nonspecific. A definitive diagnosis is usually rendered only after surgical excision and histologic examination of the cervicofacial mass. We propose a classification of three stages: localized infection without sinus involvement, localized infection with sinus involvement, and disseminated infection, to facilitate recognition, diagnosis, and early aggressive treatment. Untreated infection may be life-threatening. Therapy may require long-term antibiotics; however, many cases may also necessitate complete surgical excision.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Actinomycosis* / diagnosis
  • Actinomycosis* / drug therapy
  • Actinomycosis, Cervicofacial* / diagnosis
  • Actinomycosis, Cervicofacial* / drug therapy
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Biopsy
  • Humans


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents