Streptococcus intermedius, Streptococcus constellatus, and Streptococcus anginosus ("Streptococcus milleri group") are of different clinical importance and are not equally associated with abscess

Clin Infect Dis. 2001 May 15;32(10):1511-5. doi: 10.1086/320163. Epub 2001 Apr 20.


Difficulties in distinguishing organisms of the "Streptococcus milleri group" (SMG; Streptococcus intermedius, Streptococcus constellatus, and Streptococcus anginosus), have caused ambiguity in determining their pathogenic potential. We reviewed 118 cases in which SMG isolates had been identified using 16S rDNA sequence. S. constellatus and S. anginosus were isolated far more frequently than was S. intermedius. Nearly all isolates of S. intermedius and most isolates of S. constellatus, but only 19% of those of S. anginosus, were associated with abscess. Our findings suggest that speciation of the SMG may guide diagnostic evaluation, give insight into the possible role of coinfecting organisms, and help assess the need to search for occult abscess.

MeSH terms

  • Abscess*
  • Genes, rRNA
  • Humans
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Streptococcal Infections / microbiology*
  • Streptococcus / classification*
  • Streptococcus / genetics
  • Streptococcus / pathogenicity*


  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S