Actinomycosis is caused by Actinomyces species, anaerobic-to-microaerophilic bacteria. Anaerobic bacteria grow in the absence of oxygen, whereas microaerophilic bacteria grow in the presence of oxygen but can switch from aerobic respiration to fermentation when oxygen is not present. Fermentation is a process in which sugar is broken down for food in the absence of oxygen. An example of fermentation is the conversion of fruit juice to alcohol by yeast organisms.
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