Lapis ISSN 2398-2969

Actinomycosis

Contributor(s): Aidan Raftery, Sarah Pellett

Introduction

  • Bacterial disease in rabbits.
  • Cause:
    • Infection with Actinomyces spp Actinomyces spp.
    •  Actinomycesis a gram-positive filamentous bacteria.
    •  Actinomycesis facultatively anaerobic and grows best under anaerobic conditions.
  • Signs: formation of facial abscesses and uterine infection in rabbits.
  • Diagnosis: cytological examination, bacterial culture, histology.
  • Treatment: dependent on species, culture and sensitivity and often involves soft tissue and dental surgery plus prolonged antibiotic use.
  • Prognosis: depends on site of abscess, extent of infection and involvement of multiple bacteria.
  •  Actinomyces are part of the normal bacterial flora of the mucous membranes of mammals.
  •  Actinomyces colonize the periodontal mucosal surfaces. 
  • Pyogranluomatous infection occurs when endogenous Actinomyces, in addition to other bacteria, enter tissues.
Print off the Owner factsheet on Actinomycosis to give to your clients.

Presenting signs

  • Most common presenting signs include facial abscesses.
  • Endometritis, metritis and pyometra Pyometra may be seen infrequently.

Sex predisposition

  • Males and females appear to be affected equally.

Public health considerations

  • There are no reports of the zoonotic potential of actinomycosis from clinically infected animals to humans.
  • As abscesses are associated with a number of bacteria strict hygiene is advised.

Pathogenesis

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Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Tyrell K L, Citron D M, Jenkins J R & Goldstein E J C (2002) Periodontal bacteria in rabbit mandibular and maxillary abscesses.  J Clin Microbiol 40 (3), 1044-1047 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Knott T (2014) Ophthalmology. In: BSAVA Manual of Rabbit Medicine. Eds: Meredith A & Lord B. BSAVA, Gloucester. pp 232-254.
  • Mancinelli E & Lord B (2014) Urogenital system and reproductive disease. In: BSAVA Manual of Rabbit Medicine. Eds: Meredith A & Lord B. BSAVA, Gloucester. pp 191-204.
  • Meredith A (2014) Dermatoses. In: BSAVA Manual of Rabbit Medicine. Eds: Meredith A & Lord B. BSAVA, Gloucester. pp 255-263.
  • Varga M (2014) Textbook of Rabbit Medicine. 2nd edn. Butterworth Heinemann Elsevier, Edinburgh.
  • Harcourt-Brown F & Chitty J (2013) Facial Abscesses. In: BSAVA Manual of Rabbit Surgery, Dentistry and Imaging. Eds: Harcourt-Brown F & Chitty J.  BSAVA, Gloucester. pp 395-422.
  • Jekl V, Minarikova A, Hauptman K & Knotek K (2012) Microbial Flora of Facial Abscesses in 30 Rabbits A Preliminary Study. In: Proc 22nd European Congress of Veterinary Dentistry. Lisbon. pp 133-135.


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