Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Oral bacterium, Actinomyces odontolyticus. Actinomyces odontolyticus is a Gram-positive, anaerobic, filamentous bacterium that is part of the human oral flora. A.odontolyticus is a species that occurs in infants' mouths as well as in early dental plaque. It is the primary cause of actinomycosis, a granulomatous infection with the formation of abscesses in the mouth, lungs, or the gastrointestinal tract. Oral actinomycosis may occur due to trauma such as a tooth extraction or bleeding gums. Abdominal actinomycosis may follow appendicitis. Treatment is with antibiotics. A.odontolyticus can also cause bacteraemia. Actinomyces sp. normally are soil or aquatic fungi feeding off decaying matter (saprophytes). They resemble fungi and form fungi-like mats (mycelia). Magnification: x3,400 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
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