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Illu pharynx.jpg
Latin pars oralis pharyngis
Gray's subject #244 1142
MeSH A04.623.603

The Oropharynx (oral part of the pharynx) reaches from the Uvula to the level of the hyoid bone.

It opens anteriorly, through the isthmus faucium, into the mouth, while in its lateral wall, between the two palatine arches, is the palatine tonsil.

Normal oropharyngeal flora[]


Although older resources have stated that Fusobacterium is a common occurrence in the human oropharynx, the current consensus is that Fusobacterium should always be treated as a pathogen. [1]

HACEK organisms[]

The name is formed from their initials:[2]

  • Haemophilus
  • Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans
  • Cardiobacterium hominis
  • Eikenella corrodens
  • Kingella

All of these organisms are part of the normal oropharyngeal flora which grow slowly, prefer a carbon dioxide rich atmosphere, and share an enhanced capacity to produce endocardial infections, especially in young children.


Actinomyces species that cause human disease do not exist freely in nature but are normal flora of the oropharynx.

Additional images[]


  1. Aliyu SH, Marriott RK, Curran MD, et al. (2004). Real-time PCR investigation into the importance of Fusobacterium necrophorum as a cause of acute pharyngitis in general practice. J Med Microbiol 53 (Pt 10): 1029–35.
  2. Morpeth S, Murdoch D, Cabell CH, et al. (December 2007). Non-HACEK gram-negative bacillus endocarditis. Ann. Intern. Med. 147 (12): 829–35.

External links[]

Template:System and organs Template:Mouth anatomy [Category:Pharynx]]

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