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Anaerobic Bacterial Infections Increase the Risk of Colorectal Cancer

Credits: Docwire News

Anaerobic bacteria don’t require oxygen for the production of energy and live in different environments including the human gut. Normally, these gut bacteria do not cause any disease. But disturbances in the gut microbiome could lead to colorectal cancer. The American Cancer Society reports that the third-leading cause of cancer-related death in the U.S. is colorectal cancer.

Past investigations have revealed a relationship between bacteria from Clostridium septicum, colorectal cancer (CRC), and Bovis group streptococci. Researchers have also reported associations between many Bacteroides species,  colorectal cancer (CRC), and Fusobacterium nucleatum. The authors planned to explore this further in a large scale study.

A new study by Dr. Ulrik Stenz Justesen, Odense University Hospital, Denmark, and colleagues shows a connection between blood infections with anaerobic bacteria and the risk of developing colorectal cancer.

When the researchers combined blood culture data, new instances of CRC were identified after blood infection with the bacteria. Until 2018, the risk of CRC was researched for Fusobacterium spp., Clostridium spp., and Bacteroides spp. Furthermore, contrasted with Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, blood samples, and Bovis group streptococci that contained no disease controls. Each instance of infection was coordinated by sex and age with five controls.

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The data included more than 40 thousand bacteraemia episodes, of which more than 400 were determined to have CRC after the bacterial disease, and more than 200 within one year. Results for infection with S. aureus and E.coli are not shown but were like negative control blood cultures. Most anaerobic species were related to an increased risk of CRC up to multiple times contrasted with negative blood cultures.

A study shows that colorectal cancer begins in the epithelial cells lining the rectum and colon. Human colon cells replicate at a high rate with more than ten thousand epithelial cells being replaced each day.

The authors concluded that this study helped to understand that the risk of developing colorectal cancer was 42 times higher in those patients where blood infections were caused by selected anaerobic bacteria as compared to the blood infections that are caused by aerobic bacteria like S. aureus, E. coli or negative controls. The disclosure of blood diseases with certain anaerobic bacteria might bring about a suggestion of screening for colorectal malignant growth in selected patients.

To place the findings in setting, there are generally two cases of blood infections causes by these anaerobic microscopic organisms every week in Dr. Justesen’s clinical microbiology department. They are generally caused by a breach in the intestinal wall that would itself be able to caused by cancer.

Dr. Justesen tells that at this stage researchers don’t know whether microorganisms directly cause colorectal cancer or cancer itself causes blood infections with these bacteria. It’s a case of the inquiry ‘is this the chicken or the egg?'”

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Further tells that this study will concentrate on particular bacteria from cancer patients to check whether researchers can distinguish specific characteristics that could be involved in malignant growth development. If so it could be of great importance with regards to the treatment of colorectal cancer and screening.

When it comes to screening, if high-risk bacteria are seen in the combination with advanced age, at this point it would worth screening the patients for colorectal cancer. While there would no need to screen children however it is uncommon to see either anaerobic bacteria cause blood infections or colorectal cancer in children. There is a need to do further analysis to come up with screening or specific recommendations.

 

About the author

Fariha Munir

Fariha is a Microbiology graduate and working as a freelance content writer. Her major areas of interest are nutrition, diseases, research, and medical diagnostic technologies.

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