Call for colonoscopies after enterococcal infection

Three-quarters of patients tested are found to have colon cancer, an Australian study shows

Patients who have had an enterococcal infection should have regular colonoscopies, say Australian researchers, who have discovered a high rate of bowel cancer in those previously infected with the bacteria.

Their study found nine out of 12 patients who had an Enterococcus faecalis infection were shown to have colon cancer on colonoscopy.

A link between colorectal cancer and another bacteraemia (Streptococcus gallolyticus) with infective endocarditis has been recognised for many years, resulting in routine colonoscopies for those patients, the authors say.

And studies in 2015 and 2017 discovered an association with colorectal neoplasms for E. faecalis, a gram-positive bacterium that can cause UTIs, endocarditis and wound infections.

In the new research, led by Professor Eugene Athan, director of Barwon Health in south-western Victoria, the authors used