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Association of the Streptococcus bovis/Streptococcus equinus Complex With Colorectal Neoplasia: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.

BACKGROUND: Invasive infection with Streptococcus bovis/Streptococcus equinus complex (SBSEC) bacteria is associated with underlying colorectal neoplasia. However, the link between intestinal or fecal colonization with SBSEC isolates or antibody responses to SBSEC members and colorectal cancer is not thoroughly investigated in the literature.

METHODS: We searched the PubMed, EMBASE, and Web of Science databases for case-control studies as well as retrospective or prospective cohort studies reporting an association between SBSEC bacteria and colorectal neoplasia.

RESULTS: We identified 22 studies (15 case-control and 7 cohort) that met our inclusion criteria. Among the cohort studies, patients with SBSEC bacteremia were 3.73 times more likely to have underlying colorectal cancer compared with individuals with no bacteremia (relative risk [RR], 3.73; 95% CI, 2.79-5.01), whereas the risk of underlying colorectal adenoma in patients with SBSEC bacteremia was not significantly increased (RR, 5.00; 95% CI, 0.83-30.03). In case-control studies, patients with colorectal cancer were 2.27 times more likely to have evidence of intestinal or fecal colonization with SBSEC isolates (odds ratio [OR], 2.27; 95% CI, 1.11-4.62) and immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody responses to SBSEC antigens (OR, 2.27; 95% CI, 1.06-4.86) compared with controls. Patients with colorectal adenoma were not more likely to be colonized with SBSEC isolates compared with controls (OR, 1.12; 95% CI, 0.55-2.25).

CONCLUSIONS: Apart from the well-established association of SBSEC bacteremia and underlying colorectal cancer, intestinal or fecal colonization with SBSEC isolates and IgG antibody responses to SBSEC antigens were higher in patients with colorectal cancer compared with controls. Neither bacteremia from SBSEC isolates nor colonization with SBSEC bacteria was associated with underlying colorectal adenoma.

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