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Fusobacterium novum 01.jpg
Fusobacterium novum in liquid culture
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Bacteria
Phylum: Fusobacteria
Order: Fusobacteriales
Family: Fusobacteriaceae
Genus: Fusobacterium
Knorr 1922

Fusobacterium is a genus of anaerobic, Gram-negative bacteria, similar to Bacteroides. Individual cells are rod-shaped bacilli with pointed ends.[1] Strains of Fusobacterium cause several human diseases, including periodontal diseases, Lemierre's syndrome, and topical skin ulcers.

Although older sources state that Fusobacterium is part of the normal flora of the human oropharynx, the current consensus is that Fusobacterium should always be treated as a pathogen.[2] F. prausnitzii, a gut commensal associated with healthy patients, was moved out of Fusobacterium into its own genus, Faecalibacterium, in 2002.

Clinical relevance[edit]

In 2011, researchers discovered that Fusobacterium flourishes in colon cancer cells, and is often also associated with ulcerative colitis, although researchers have not determined if the organism actually causes these diseases or if it simply flourishes in the environment these diseases create.[3] The bacterium is a big anchor for biofilms.[4][5]

In contrast to Bacteroides spp., Fusobacterium has a potent lipopolysaccharide.

Clindamycin was the most active antibiotic against Fusobacterium species, followed by chloramphenicol, carbenicillin, and cefoperazone (which were about equally active) and then cefamandole.[6]


  1. ^ Madigan M; Martinko J (editors). (2005). Brock Biology of Microorganisms (11th ed.). Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-144329-1. 
  2. ^ Aliyu SH, Marriott RK, Curran MD, et al. (2004). "Real-time PCR investigation into the importance of Fusobacterium necrophorum as a cause of acute pharyngitis in general practice". J Med Microbiol 53 (Pt 10): 1029–35. doi:10.1099/jmm.0.45648-0. PMID 15358827. 
  3. ^ Alice Park (18 October 2011). "A Surprising Link Between Bacteria and Colon Cancer". Time.com. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  4. ^ "Stimulation of Fusobacterium nucleatum biofilm formation by Porphyromonas gingivalis - Saito - 2007 - Oral Microbiology and Immunology - Wiley Online Library". doi.wiley.com 23: 1–6. doi:10.1111/j.1399-302X.2007.00380.x. 
  5. ^ Okuda, Tamaki; Kokubu, Eitoyo; Kawana, Tomoko; Saito, Atsushi; Okuda, Katsuji; Ishihara, Kazuyuki (Feb 2012). "Synergy in biofilm formation between Fusobacterium nucleatum and Prevotella species". Anaerobe 18 (1): 110–116. doi:10.1016/j.anaerobe.2011.09.003. ISSN 1095-8274. PMID 21945879. 
  6. ^ Donald Kaye, William Kobasa, Karen Kaye. (1980). "Susceptibilities of anaerobic bacteria to cefoperazone and other antibiotics". Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, June 1980, pp. 957-960.

External links[edit]