Group milleri streptococci: significant pathogens in solid organ recipients

Transpl Int. 2007 Jan;20(1):51-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1432-2277.2006.00396.x.


Group milleri streptococci (GMS) comprise a heterogeneous group of streptococci including the species intermedius, constellatus and anginosus. They may cause chronic intra-abdominal and intrathoracic abscesses, which are difficult to treat. This is a retrospective analysis including 45 transplant recipients in whom GMS were isolated. The epidemiology, clinical significance and the impact on the outcome in all transplant patients with infections caused by GMS during a 4-year period (2001-2004) was evaluated. The 45 solid organ recipients (88 isolates) included 34 liver-, four kidney/pancreas-, one kidney-, two small bowel-, three combined liver/kidney- and one combined kidney/small bowel transplant recipient. In 42 cases GMS caused intra-abdominal infection, in two cases pleural empyema and in one case soft tissue infection. Only a single isolate of GMS was cultured from blood. In 54 of the 88 specimens (61%), which grew GMS, other pathogens were also isolated. GMS frequently caused recurrent cholangitis (n = 17) associated with anastomotic and nonanastomotic biliary strictures. These cases were managed by repeated stenting or surgical intervention and prolonged antibiotic therapy. No patient died directly related to GMS infection and all except one case responded to combined surgical/antibiotic treatment. One pancreas graft was lost because of erosion haemorrhage associated with an abscess. GMS were susceptible to penicillin G, carbapenems and clindamycin, whereas cephalosporins and quinolones showed intermediate activity or resistance in some cases, and GMS in general were found resistant to aminoglycosides. GMS may cause serious infections in transplant recipients which are difficult to treat. Their prevalence in transplant surgical site infections thus far may have been underestimated.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Organ Transplantation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pancreas Transplantation
  • Postoperative Complications / microbiology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Streptococcal Infections / drug therapy
  • Streptococcal Infections / epidemiology*
  • Streptococcal Infections / surgery
  • Streptococcus milleri Group*
  • Transplantation, Homologous
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents