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Mol Oral Microbiol. 2014 Aug;29(4):145-55. doi: 10.1111/omi.12056. Epub 2014 Jun 26.

Molecular pathogenicity of Streptococcus anginosus.

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Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hospital Hygiene, University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany.


Streptococcus anginosus and the closely related species Streptococcus constellatus and Streptococcus intermedius, are primarily commensals of the mucosa. The true pathogenic potential of this group has been under-recognized for a long time because of difficulties in correct species identification as well as the commensal nature of these species. In recent years, streptococci of the S. anginosus group have been increasingly found as relevant microbial pathogens in abscesses and blood cultures and they play a pathogenic role in cystic fibrosis. Several international studies have shown a surprisingly high frequency of infections caused by the S. anginosus group. Recent studies and a genome-wide comparative analysis suggested the presence of multiple putative virulence factors that are well-known from other streptococcal species. However, very little is known about the molecular basis of pathogenicity in these bacteria. This review summarizes our current knowledge of pathogenicity factors and their regulation in S. anginosus.


Streptococcus constellatus; Streptococcus intermedius; Streptococcus milleri; adhesion; luxS; quorum sensing; virulence

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