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Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2001 Nov;125(11):1491-3.

Granulomatous colitis associated with botryomycosis of Propionibacterium acnes.

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Department of Pathology, Hirosaki University School of Medicine, Hirosaki, Japan.


Propionibacterium acnes, an anaerobic, non-spore-forming, gram-positive bacillus, is a common inhabitant of the skin, and its virulence is considered to be low in humans. This report describes an unusual case of granulomatous colitis associated with P acnes infection in a 46-year-old woman. The affected cecum exhibited a tumor histologically characterized by massive transmural infiltrates of small lymphocytes and noncaseating epithelioid granulomas with multinucleated giant cells. Botryomycotic granules were also found in the muscular layer and paracolic connective tissues and consisted of gram-positive bacilli with filamentous growth. Polymerase chain reaction confirmed the presence of P acnes 16S ribosomal DNA in the surgical specimen of the colon. The patient developed a postoperative P acnes-induced peritonitis, which subsided with treatment with antibiotics and surgical drainage. The present case indicates that P acnes is one of the possible pathogens for granulomatous colitis.

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