Streptococcus bovis

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Streptococcus bovis
Scientific classification edit
Domain: Bacteria
Phylum: Bacillota
Class: Bacilli
Order: Lactobacillales
Family: Streptococcaceae
Genus: Streptococcus
S. bovis
Binomial name
Streptococcus bovis

Streptococcus bovis (S. bovis) is a species of Gram-positive bacteria that in humans is associated with urinary tract infections, endocarditis, sepsis, [5] and colorectal cancer.[6] S. gallolyticus is commonly found in the alimentary tract of cattle, sheep, and other ruminants,[7] and may cause ruminal acidosis or feedlot bloat.[8][9] It is also associated with spontaneous bacterial peritonitis, a frequent complication occurring in patients affected by cirrhosis.[10] Equivalence with Streptococcus equinus has been contested.[4]


S. bovis is a catalase-negative and oxidase-negative, nonmotile, non-sporulating, Gram-positive lactic acid bacterium that grows as pairs or chains of cocci.[4] It is a member of the Lancefield group D streptococci. Most strains are gamma-hemolytic (non-hemolytic), but some also display alpha-hemolytic activity on sheep blood agar plates. Strep bovis is a non-enterococci.[citation needed] Biochemical Tests mannitol salt: negative bile esculin: negative MR/VP: positive/negative nutrient gelatin: negative starch: positive DNase: negative[citation needed]

S. bovis group

The S. bovis group includes S. equinus, S. gallolyticus, S. infantarius, and other closely related species; they are the nonenterococcal group D streptococci. Members of this group are esculin positive, 6.5% salt negative, sorbitol negative and produce acetoin. Isolates from the S. bovis group are most frequently encountered in blood cultures from patients with colon cancer. However, S. bovis group organisms (especially S. gallolyticus subsp. gallolyticus and S. infantarius subsp. coli) have been associated with endocarditis (3). Although infection with S. bovis group organisms occurs with higher frequency in adults than in pediatric patients, these organisms have been reported to cause neonatal sepsis and meningitis (20).[citation needed]

Human infection

Gallstones present as Streptococcus bovis liver abscess.

The main portal of entry for human infection of S. bovis bacteremia is the gastrointestinal tract, but in some cases, entry is through the urinary tract, the hepatobiliary tree, or the oropharynx.[11]

Role in disease

S. bovis is a human pathogen that has been implicated as a causative agent of endocarditis,[5] urinary tract infections, and more rarely, sepsis and neonatal meningitis.[12][13][14]

S. bovis has long been associated with colorectal cancer;[6][15] however, not all genospecies are associated equally. A 2011 meta-analysis on the association between S. bovis biotypes and colonic adenomas/carcinomas revealed that patients with S. bovis biotype I infection had a strongly increased risk of having colorectal cancer (pooled odds ratio: 7.26; 95% confidence interval: 3.94–13.36), compared to S. bovis biotype II-infected patients.[16] This analysis suggests S. bovis should no longer be regarded as a single bacterial entity in clinical practice. Only Streptococcus gallolyticus (S. bovis biotype I) infection has an unambiguous association with colonic adenomas/carcinomas (prevalence range: 33–71%) that markedly exceeds the prevalence of colonic (pre-)malignancies in the general population (10–25%). Nevertheless, research has not yet determined that S. gallolyticus is a causative agent of colorectal cancer, or if pre-existing cancer makes the lumen of the large intestine more hospitable to its outgrowth.[17]

Ruminal effects

When ruminants consume diets high in starch or sugar, these easily fermentable carbohydrates promote the proliferation of S. bovis in the rumen. Because S. bovis is a lactic acid bacterium, fermentation of these carbohydrates to lactic acid can cause a dramatic decline in ruminal pH, and subsequent development of adverse conditions such as ruminal acidosis or feedlot bloat.[8][9]


  1. Poyart, C.; Quesne, G.; Trieu-Cuot, P. (2002). "Taxonomic dissection of the Streptococcus bovis group by analysis of manganese-dependent superoxide dismutase gene (sodA) sequences: Reclassification of 'Streptococcus infantarius subsp. Coli' as Streptococcus lutetiensis sp. nov. And of Streptococcus bovis biotype 11.2 as Streptococcus pasteurianus sp. nov". International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 52 (Pt 4): 1247–55. doi:10.1099/00207713-52-4-1247. PMID 12148636.
  2. Dekker, J. P.; Lau, A. F. (2016). "An Update on the Streptococcus bovis Group: Classification, Identification, and Disease Associations". Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 54 (7): 1694–1699. doi:10.1128/JCM.02977-15. PMC 4922088. PMID 26912760.
  3. Whiley, R. A. (2003). "International Committee on Systematics of Prokaryotes Subcommittee on the taxonomy of staphylococci and streptococci: Minutes of the closed meeting, 31 July 2002, Paris, France". International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 53 (3): 915–917. doi:10.1099/ijs.0.02589-0.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Schlegel L.; Grimont R.; Ageron E.; Grimont P.A.D.; Bouvet A. (2003). "Reappraisal of the taxonomy of the Streptococcus bovis/Streptococcus equinus complex and related species: description of Streptococcus gallolyticus subsp. gallolyticus subsp. nov., S. gallolyticus subsp. macedonicus subsp. nov. and S. gallolyticus subsp. pasteurianus subsp. nov". International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 53 (3): 631–645. doi:10.1099/ijs.0.02361-0. PMID 12807180.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Ryan K.J. and C.G. Ray CG (editors). 2004. Sherris Medical Microbiology (4th ed.). McGraw Hill. ISBN 0-8385-8529-9.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Klein, R.S.; Recco, R.A.; Catalano, M.T.; Edberg, S.C.; Casey, J.I.; Steigbigel, N.H. (October 13, 1977). "Association of Streptococcus bovis with carcinoma of the colon". New England Journal of Medicine. 297 (15): 800–802. doi:10.1056/NEJM197710132971503. PMID 408687.
  7. Ghali M.B.; Scott P.T.; Al Jassim R.A.M. (2004). "Characterization of Streptococcus bovis from the rumen of the dromedary camel and Rusa deer". Letters in Applied Microbiology. 39 (4): 341–346. doi:10.1111/j.1472-765X.2004.01597.x. PMID 15355536. S2CID 22143462.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Asanuma N, Hino T (2002). "Regulation of fermentation in a ruminal bacterium, Streptococcus bovis, with special reference to rumen acidosis". Animal Science Journal. 73 (5): 313–325. doi:10.1046/j.1344-3941.2002.00044.x.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Subacute Ruminal Acidosis". The Merck Veterinary Manual. Retrieved 2008-09-10.
  10. Horner, Rosmari (2010). "Spontaneous bacterial peritonitis caused by Streptococcus bovis: case report and review of the literature". Brazilian Journal of Infectious Diseases. 14 (3): 294–296. doi:10.1590/S1413-86702010000300017. PMID 20835516.
  11. Mazumder, Shirin A (2018-11-30). "Group D Streptococcus (GDS) Infections (Streptococcus bovis/Streptococcus gallolyticus): Background, Pathophysiology, Epidemiology". EMedicine.
  12. Headings DL, Herrera A, Mazzi E, Bergman MA (February 1978). "Fulminant neonatal septicemia caused by Streptococcus bovis". Journal of Pediatrics. 92 (2): 282–283. doi:10.1016/S0022-3476(78)80026-2. PMID 413898.
  13. White BA, Labhsetwar SA, Mian AN (November 2002). "Streptococcus bovis bacteremia and fetal death". Obstetrics and Gynecology. 100 (5 Pt 2): 1126–1129. doi:10.1016/S0029-7844(02)02206-8. PMID 12423832. S2CID 317539.
  14. Grant RJ, Whitehead TR, Orr JE (1 January 2000). "Streptococcus bovis meningitis in an infant". Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 38 (1): 462–463. doi:10.1128/JCM.38.1.462-463.2000. PMC 88753. PMID 10618145.
  15. Corredoira-Sanchez J, et al. (2012). "Association between Bacteremia Due to Streptococcus gallolyticus subsp. gallolyticus (Streptococcus bovis I) and Colorectal Neoplasia: ACase-Control Study". Clinical Infectious Diseases. 55 (4): 491–496. doi:10.1093/cid/cis434. PMID 22563018.
  16. Boleij, A; van Gelder, MM; Swinkels, DW; Tjalsma, H (November 2011). "Clinical Importance of Streptococcus gallolyticus infection among colorectal cancer patients: systematic review and meta-analysis". Clinical Infectious Diseases. 53 (9): 870–878. doi:10.1093/cid/cir609. PMID 21960713.
  17. zur Hausen H (November 2006). "Streptococcus bovis: causal or incidental involvement in cancer of the colon?". International Journal of Cancer. 119 (9): xi–xii. doi:10.1002/ijc.22314. PMID 16947772. S2CID 116669938.

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