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Pulmonary actinomycosis and marijuana vaping
  1. Michelle Massey1 and
  2. Joseph Barney2
  1. 1School of Medicine, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA
  2. 2Department of Medicine, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA
  1. Correspondence to Michelle Massey; mem0104{at}


A 33-year-old man without significant medical history presented to the emergency department with a 6-month history of fatigue and 30 pounds of unintentional weight loss, with a recent cough and fever over the past week. He recalled two similar illnesses during college that did not require medical care. He denied tobacco use but reported inhaling marijuana 1–2 times daily over the past year with a vaping device. Physical exam was notable for a temperature of 100.0°F and an elevated blood pressure at 161/77 mm Hg. He was diaphoretic with clear breath sounds bilaterally. Chest imaging revealed diffuse ground glass opacities with subpleural sparing and mildly enlarged hilar lymph nodes. Bronchoscopy with transbronchial lung biopsies and needle aspirate of lymph nodes revealed organising pneumonia, and subsequent cultures grew Actinomyces odontolyticus. He was treated with amoxicillin and corticosteroids with subsequent resolution on repeat chest imaging.

  • interstitial lung disease
  • pneumonia (infectious disease)
  • public health

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  • Contributors JB and MM were responsible for the conception and design of this report. MM wrote the manuscript and obtained patient consent. JB edited and reviewed the manuscript. All authors approved the final manuscript for publication.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.