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July 22, 1950


Author Affiliations

Memphis, Tenn.

From the Divisions of Medicine, Surgery, Pathology and Bacteriology, University of Tennessee College of Medicine, and John Gaston Hospital, Memphis.

JAMA. 1950;143(12):1067-1068. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.82910470009008a

Since 1878, when Israel1 reported a case of actinomycosis in man, there has been steady improvement in the therapy of this infection. Recognition of the frequency and seriousness of this disease has also increased tremendously in recent years. Cope2 reported that several thousand articles had been published on this subject, and it is now apparent that actinomycosis is worldwide in distribution. Also, it has been established that this infection is not more common in rural than in urban areas.3 Dubos4 states that the etiologic agent of actinomycosis is a true parasite of the mucous membranes and that it is never found in nature apart from a parasitic or pathogenic habitat. Pathogenic actinomyces have been isolated from pyorrhea pus, dental scum, salivary calculi, carious teeth and tonsillar crypts. It therefore appears that the source of this disease is endogenous rather than exogenous.

There have been many projected

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