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Pathology Forum
September 2000

Quiz Case 3

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2000;126(9):1159-1160. doi:

Botryomycosis, also termed bacterial pseudomycosis, is a chronic bacterial infection that is usually, but not exclusively, associated with S aureus.1 It differs from the majority of head and neck infections because of its chronic and indolent course.1 Patients who are diagnosed as having botryomycosis generally have extensive involvement of the affected area. The disease was first described in 1870 after being discovered in the lung of a horse.2 Fourteen years passed before Rivolta rediscovered this disease and used the term botryomycosis, attributing the disease to a fungal infection.2 Later, Winslow and Steen3 proposed that botryomycosis was a type of mycetoma despite earlier studies that associated the disease with a chronic bacterial infection. The term botryomycosis is a misnomer, as the disease results from a bacterial infection. Indeed, botryomycosis is confirmed only when granules within inflammatory foci contain a causative organism.4 Of historic note, Opie5 described the first human case of botryomycosis in the United States in 1913, when he conducted a postmortem examination of a 13-year-old girl's liver.

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