The "Streptococcus milleri" group (SMG) is increasingly recognized for their role in pyogenic infections including empyema and solid organ abscesses. However, SMG disease has rarely been identified in cystic fibrosis (CF). Inherent difficulties in both growing the organisms and distinguishing SMG from less virulent oropharyngeal viridans streptococci may have led to a decreased recognition of this as a CF pathogen. We report on six cases of SMG-related infection over a 4-year time-frame occurring within an adult CF clinic in Canada, and a further four cases identified through a literature review. SMG manifested disease as bronchopulmonary exacerbations in 7 of 10 patients, and 4 of 10 patients had extra-pulmonary dissemination of SMG infection. Noticeably, pulmonary exacerbations were frequently associated with atypically malodorous sputum. Furthermore, patients clinically responded to anti-microbial therapies with no anti-Pseudomonal activity. There was a consistent correlation of SMG disease and co-colonization with P. aeruginosa leading to speculation of polymicrobial interactions resulting in enhanced virulence. SMG deserves considerable attention as a potential pathogen within the airways of patients with CF.
Copyright 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.