Doctors from the Department of Surgery at Yale University School of Medical in New Haven, Connecticut, USA, have used a retrospective review of all documented cases of Streptococcus bovis bacteremia to determine whether it may be associated with colonic neoplasia and extracolonic malignancy.
Dr Jason S. Gold and his colleagues Dr Sancar Bayar and Dr Ronald R. Salem were interested to test their hypothesis because while the association between S bovis bacteremia and colonic neoplasia is well described, this has not been the case for the relationship between S. bovis and neoplasia outside the colon.
The researchers used computerized bacteriology records from 1 tertiary referral hospital and 1 community hospital located in the same city in order to carry out their study.
In total, they identified 45 patients, (41 adults and 4 children) who were documented with S. bovis bacteremia during a 12 year period.
All available patient records were reviewed in order to identify the presence of colonic neoplasia, the use of gastrointestinal endoscopy, and the presence of gastrointestinal or extraintestinal malignancies.
Following this review, 17 subjects, comprising 41% of the adult patients, were found to have undergone colonoscopy, with colonic neoplasia being present in 16 patients (39% of adults).
Three of these patients had invasive colorectal cancer (7% of adults), while an invasive cancer was present in 13 patients (32% of adults).
Eight patients had malignant lesions arising within the gastrointestinal tract, and 5 patients had extraintestinal malignancies.
S. bovis bacteremia is associated with both colonic neoplasia and extracolonic malignancy, conclude the authors.