Streptococcus gallolyticus bacteraemia in hepatobiliary–pancreatic and colonic pathologies

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Background:Streptococcus gallolyticus bacteraemia has been associated with several pathologies, including bacterial endocarditis and colorectal cancer.

Aims: In this study, we have analysed whether Streptococcus gallolyticus bacteraemia is associated with an increased risk of hepatobiliary and colonic pathology. The association with other pathologies and the antibiotic sensitivities of Streptococcus gallolyticus were also analysed.

Design: Observational retrospective study.

Methods: The case notes of patients with documented Streptococcus gallolyticus bacteraemia between 2007 and 2012 at Mater Dei hospital (Malta) were reviewed. Demographic and clinical data, including co-morbidities, clinical investigations, antibiotic sensitivities and mortality were analysed.

Results: A total of 42 patients (33 males, 9 females) were recruited. Two patients were pre-term infants and were therefore excluded from the study. Mean age of the cohort population studied was 72 years (SD ± 14). One-year survival rate was 62%. Gastrointestinal (colonic and hepatobiliary–pancreatic) pathologies were present in 59.5% of patients with 16% of this group having more than one gastrointestinal pathology. High incidence rates of underlying diabetes mellitus (28.6%), valvular heart disease (21.4%) and malignancies (21.4%) were noted in this study. Furthermore, we observed that 14.3% of patients had an underlying respiratory pathology. Streptococcus gallolyticus was 100% sensitive to cefotaxime and vancomycin but was highly resistant to clindamycin, erythromycin and tetracycline.

Conclusions:Streptococcus gallolyticus bacteraemia is commoner in the elderly and in those with multiple underlying co-morbidities. The high incidence of gastrointestinal pathologies among patients with Streptococcus gallolyticus bacteraemia (59.5%) suggests that a thorough work-up for colonic and hepatobiliary/pancreatic pathology should be carried out in these patients.

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