JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Bacteremia with Streptococcus bovis and Streptococcus salivarius: clinical correlates of more accurate identification of isolates.

Two biotypes of Streptococcus bovis can be identified by laboratory testing and can be distinguished from the phenotypically similar organism Streptococcus salivarius. We assessed the clinical relevance of careful identification of these organisms in 68 patients with streptococcal bacteremia caused by these similar species. S. bovis was more likely to be clinically significant when isolated from blood (89%) than was S. salivarius (23%). There was a striking association between S. bovis I bacteremia and underlying endocarditis (94%) compared with that of S. bovis II bacteremia (18%). Bacteremia with S. bovis I was also highly correlated with an underlying colonic neoplasm (71% of patients overall, 100% of those with thorough colonic examinations) compared with bacteremia due to S. bovis II or S. salivarius (17% overall, 25% of patients with thorough colonic examinations). We conclude that careful identification of streptococcal bacteremic isolates as S. bovis biotype I provides clinically important information and should be more widely applied.

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