Fusobacterium nucleatum

Fusobacterium nucleatum is an oral bacterium, indigenous to the human oral cavity, that plays a role in periodontal disease. This organism is commonly recovered from different monomicrobial and mixed infections in humans and animals. It is a key component of periodontal plaque due to its abundance and its ability to coaggregate with other bacteria species in the oral cavity.[1][2]

Fusobacterium nucleatum
Scientific classification
Domain: Bacteria
Phylum: Fusobacteria
Class: Fusobacteriia
Order: Fusobacteriales
Family: Fusobacteriaceae
Genus: Fusobacterium
F. nucleatum
Binomial name
Fusobacterium nucleatum
Knorr, 1922

Preterm births

Research implicates periodontal disease caused by F. nucleatum with preterm births in humans. In many studies, F. nucleatum cells have been isolated from the amniotic fluid, placenta, and chorioamnionic membranes of women delivering prematurely. Moreover, laboratory mice inoculated (directly into the blood) with F. nucleatum have been found to deliver prematurely, and the pathology of the infection seems to mirror observations in humans.[3] Together, this research provides evidence for a possible causal connection between F. nucleatum-caused periodontal disease and at least some cases of preterm delivery. F. nucleatum can also be isolated from the vaginal microbiome, especially in women with a condition known as bacterial vaginosis.[4] Both F. nucleatum vaginal colonization and bacterial vaginosis also have been linked with preterm birth and infections within the uterus.[5] Thus, preterm birth arising by infections caused by F. nucleatum could also arise from invasive infection into the uterine tissue originating from the colonized vagina.

Colonic adenomas

F. nucleatum has a demonstrated association with colon cancer; in addition, a mechanism has been described by which F. nucleatum induces tumor growth without the more general mechanism of inducing inflammation or otherwise irritating the colon tissue. This suggests direct and specific carcinogenesis.[6]

See also


  1. Kapatral, V.; Anderson, I.; Ivanova, N.; Reznik, G.; Los, T.; Lykidis, A.; Bhattacharyya, A.; Bartman, A.; Gardner, W.; Grechkin, G.; Zhu, L.; Vasieva, O.; Chu, L.; Kogan, Y.; Chaga, O.; Goltsman, E.; Bernal, A.; Larsen, N.; D'Souza, M.; Walunas, T.; Pusch, G.; Haselkorn, R.; Fonstein, M.; Kyrpides, N.; Overbeek, R. (2002). "Genome Sequence and Analysis of the Oral Bacterium Fusobacterium nucleatum Strain ATCC 25586". Journal of Bacteriology. 184 (7): 2005–18. doi:10.1128/JB.184.7.2005-2018.2002. PMC 134920. PMID 11889109.
  2. "Fusobacterium nucleatumin Periodontal Health and Disease". Current Issues in Molecular Biology. 2011. doi:10.21775/cimb.013.025.
  3. Han, Y. W.; Redline, R. W.; Li, M.; Yin, L.; Hill, G. B.; McCormick, T. S. (2004). "Fusobacterium nucleatum Induces Premature and Term Stillbirths in Pregnant Mice: Implication of Oral Bacteria in Preterm Birth". Infection and Immunity. 72 (4): 2272–9. doi:10.1128/IAI.72.4.2272-2279.2004. PMC 375172. PMID 15039352.
  4. Hillier SL, Krohn MA, Rabe LK, Klebanoff SJ, Eschenbach DA (1993). "The normal vaginal flora, H2O2-producing lactobacilli, and bacterial vaginosis in pregnant women". Clinical Infectious Diseases. 16 Suppl 4: S273–81. doi:10.1093/clinids/16.supplement_4.s273. PMID 8324131.
  5. Hitti J, Hillier SL, Agnew KJ, Krohn MA, Reisner DP, Eschenbach DA (2001). "Vaginal indicators of amniotic fluid infection in preterm labor". Obstetrics and Gynecology. 97 (2): 211–9. doi:10.1016/s0029-7844(00)01146-7. PMID 11165584.
  6. Kostic, Aleksandar D.; Chun, Eunyoung; Robertson, Lauren; Glickman, Jonathan N.; Gallini, Carey Ann; Michaud, Monia; Clancy, Thomas E.; Chung, Daniel C.; Lochhead, Paul; Hold, Georgina L.; El-Omar, Emad M.; Brenner, Dean; Fuchs, Charles S.; Meyerson, Matthew; Garrett, Wendy S. (2013). "Fusobacterium nucleatum Potentiates Intestinal Tumorigenesis and Modulates the Tumor-Immune Microenvironment". Cell Host & Microbe. 14 (2): 207–15. doi:10.1016/j.chom.2013.07.007. PMC 3772512. PMID 23954159.
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