Similarly to other non-spore-forming Gram-positive anaerobes, members of the Actinomyces genus are important saprophytic constituents of the normal microbiota of humans. Actinomyces infections are considered to be rare, with cervicofacial infections (also known as ‘lumpy jaw syndrome’) being the most prevalent type in the clinical practice. Actinomycoses are characterized by a slowly progressing (indolent) infection, with non-specific symptoms, and additionally, the clinical presentation of the signs/symptoms can mimic other pathologies, such as solid tumors, active Mycobacterium tuberculosis infections, nocardiosis, fungal infections, infarctions, and so on. The clinical diagnosis of actinomycosis may be difficult due to its non-specific symptoms and the fastidious, slow-growing nature of the pathogens, requiring an anaerobic atmosphere for primary isolation. Based on 111 references, the aim of this review is to summarize current advances regarding the clinical features, diagnostics, and therapy of cervicofacial Actinomyces infections and act as a paper for dentistry specialists, other physicians, and clinical microbiologists.
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