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Scientific classification

Shah and Collins 1990

See text.

  • Xylanibacter Ueki et al. 2006

Prevotella is a genus of Gram-negative bacteria.

Prevotella spp. are members of the oral, vaginal, and gut microbiota and are often recovered from anaerobic infections of the respiratory tract. These infections include aspiration pneumonia, lung abscess, pulmonary empyema, and chronic otitis media and sinusitis. They have been isolated from abscesses and burns in the vicinity of the mouth, bites, paronychia, urinary tract infection, brain abscesses, osteomyelitis, and bacteremia associated with upper respiratory tract infections. Prevotella spp. predominate in periodontal disease and periodontal abscesses.[1]

Role in gut microbiota[edit]

The human gut is mainly inhabited by two phyla of bacteria—Bacillota and Bacteroidota, the latter mostly dominated by Bacteroides and Prevotella genera. Prevotella and Bacteroides are thought to have had a common ancestor.[2] Formally, the two genera were differentiated in 1990.[3] However classification is ongoing. For example, Bacteroides melaninogenicus has been reclassified and split into Prevotella melaninogenica and Prevotella intermedia.[4] Either Prevotella or Bacteroides dominate the gut and may be antagonistic. Prevotella is more common in non-Westernised populations consuming a plant-rich diet. In Western populations it has been associated with diets rich in fruits and vegetables. Genome analysis of Prevotella copri showed it was deficient in the ability to degrade host glycans and is more genetically equipped for plant glycan degradation.[2] In a study of gut bacteria of children in Burkina Faso, Prevotella made up 53% of the gut bacteria but were absent in age-matched European children.[5]

Long-term diet is reported to be associated with gut microbiome composition—those who eat protein and animal fats have predominantly Bacteroides bacteria, while those who consume more carbohydrates, especially fibre, feature Prevotella species.[6]

Prevotella is associated with gut inflammation. Increased levels of P. copri might contribute to chronic inflammation in HIV patients. Single species isolate P. copri CB7 has been reported to be beneficial or detrimental, depending on context.[2] Prevotella is a large genus with high species diversity and high genetic diversity across strains. Prevotella derived from humans expresses a diverse gene pool.[7] In addition to genetic and overall microbiota differences, Prevotella's high genetic diversity makes it difficult to predict their function, which can vary across individuals.[2]

Vaginal microbiota[edit]

Prevotella species may be commensal in the vagina, though increased abundance of Prevotella in vaginal mucosa is associated with bacterial vaginosis. Prevotella is the most heritable bacterial group in vaginal microbiome and its abundance is linked to body mass index and hormonal milieu.[citation needed] Prevotella bivia produces lipopolysaccharides and ammonia that are part of vaginal mucus. It is also associated with epithelial cytokine production and enhances the growth of other bacterial vaginosis-associated organisms, such as Gardnerella vaginalis. The latter in turn was found to stimulate growth of P. bivia.[8]


P. intermedia and P. nigrescens are associated with inflammatory periodontal diseases, such as pregnancy gingivitis, acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis and adult periodontitis. Together with Porphyromonas gingivalis they are known as black-pigmenting anaerobes. All three require haemin to provide iron for their growth. These species were shown to bind lactoferrin that is released together with the contents of neutrophils during inflammation and bleeding in periodontitis patients. Lactoferrin inhibits the growth of P. gingivalis but not Prevotella.[9] Inorganic iron and iron-binding proteins such as transferrin and lactoferrin do not support the growth of P. intermedia, however hemin–iron-containing compounds which include hemin, human hemoglobin, bovine hemoglobin, and bovine catalase stimulate the growth of P. intermedia.[10] Hemoglobin-binding protein on the cell surface of P.intermedia has been described.[11]

Some studies have linked abnormal levels of Prevotella copri and rheumatoid arthritis.[12][13]

An overgrowth of Prevotella and a reduction of Lactobacillus correlated with the onset of osteomyelitis in mice. The reduction of Prevotella in model mice led to an increase of Lactobacillus showing a protection effect against osteomyelitis. Thus, changes in the Prevotella microbiota may be related to the development of osteomyelitis.[14]

Approximately 70% and 30% of Prevotella are resistant to penicillin and clindamycin, respectively, while resistance to amoxicillin/clavulanate and metronidazole is reported in less than 10% of the clinical strains responsible for bloodstream infections in humans.[15]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Tanaka S, Yoshida M, Murakami Y, et al. (2008). "The relationship of Prevotella intermedia, Prevotella nigrescens and Prevotella melaninogenica in the supragingival plaque of children, caries and oral malodor". J Clin Pediatr Dent. 32 (3): 195–200. doi:10.17796/jcpd.32.3.vp657177815618l1. PMID 18524268.
  2. ^ a b c d Ley, Ruth E. (February 2016). "Gut microbiota in 2015: Prevotella in the gut: choose carefully". Nature Reviews. Gastroenterology & Hepatology. 13 (2): 69–70. doi:10.1038/nrgastro.2016.4. ISSN 1759-5053. PMID 26828918. S2CID 30114888.
  3. ^ Shah, H. N.; Collins, D. M. (April 1990). "Prevotella, a new genus to include Bacteroides melaninogenicus and related species formerly classified in the genus Bacteroides". International Journal of Systematic Bacteriology. 40 (2): 205–208. doi:10.1099/00207713-40-2-205. ISSN 0020-7713. PMID 2223612.
  4. ^ "Bacteroides Infection: Overview - eMedicine". Retrieved 2008-12-11.
  5. ^ De Filippo, C.; Cavalieri, D.; Di Paola, M.; Ramazzotti, M.; Poullet, J. B.; Massart, S.; Collini, S.; Pieraccini, G.; Lionetti, P. (2010). "The impact of diet in shaping gut microbiota is revealed by a comparative study in children from Europe and rural Africa" (PDF). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 107 (33): 14691–6. Bibcode:2010PNAS..10714691D. doi:10.1073/pnas.1005963107. PMC 2930426. PMID 20679230.
  6. ^ Wu GD, Chen J, Hoffmann C, Bittinger K, Chen YY, Keilbaugh SA, Bewtra M, Knights D, Walters WA, Knight R, Sinha R, Gilroy E, Gupta K, Baldassano R, Nessel L, Li H, Bushman FD, Lewis JD (October 7, 2011). "Linking long-term dietary patterns with gut microbial enterotypes". Science. 334 (6052): 105–8. Bibcode:2011Sci...334..105W. doi:10.1126/science.1208344. PMC 3368382. PMID 21885731.
  7. ^ Vinod Kumar Gupta; Narendrakumar M Chaudhari; Suchismitha Iskepalli; Chitra Dutta (March 5, 2015). "Divergences in gene repertoire among the reference Prevotella genomes derived from distinct human body sites". BMC Genomics. 16 (1): 153. doi:10.1186/s12864-015-1350-6. PMC 4359502. PMID 25887946. open access
  8. ^ Randis, Tara M.; Ratner, Adam J. (2019-02-01). "Gardnerella and Prevotella: Co-conspirators in the Pathogenesis of Bacterial Vaginosis". The Journal of Infectious Diseases. 220 (7): 1085–1088. doi:10.1093/infdis/jiy705. ISSN 1537-6613. PMC 6736359. PMID 30715397.
  9. ^ Aguilera, O.; Andrés, M. T.; Heath, J.; Fierro, J. F.; Douglas, C. W. (May 1998). "Evaluation of the antimicrobial effect of lactoferrin on Porphyromonas gingivalis, Prevotella intermedia and Prevotella nigrescens". FEMS Immunology and Medical Microbiology. 21 (1): 29–36. doi:10.1111/j.1574-695X.1998.tb01146.x. ISSN 0928-8244. PMID 9657318.
  10. ^ Folk, Shawn P.; Leung, K.-P. (2002-03-01). "Effects of porphyrins and inorganic iron on the growth of Prevotella intermedia". FEMS Microbiology Letters. 209 (1): 15–21. doi:10.1111/j.1574-6968.2002.tb11103.x. ISSN 0378-1097. PMID 12007648.
  11. ^ Shizukuishi, Satoshi; Minamino, Naoto; Kuboniwa, Masae; Maeda, Kazuhiko; Nagata, Hideki; Guan, Su-Min (2004-06-01). "Purification and characterization of a hemoglobin-binding outer membrane protein of Prevotella intermedia". FEMS Microbiology Letters. 235 (2): 333–339. doi:10.1111/j.1574-6968.2004.tb09607.x. ISSN 0378-1097. PMID 15183882.
  12. ^ Jose U Scher; Andrew Sczesnak; Randy S Longman; Nicola Segata; Carles Ubeda; Craig Bielski; Tim Rostron; Vincenzo Cerundolo; Eric G Pamer; Steven B Abramson; Curtis Huttenhower; Dan R Littman (November 5, 2013). "Expansion of intestinal Prevotella copri correlates with enhanced susceptibility to arthritis". eLife. 2: e01202. doi:10.7554/eLife.01202. PMC 3816614. PMID 24192039.
  13. ^ Haridy, Rich (2022-10-19). "New evidence linking gut bacteria with rheumatoid arthritis development". New Atlas. Retrieved 2022-10-27.
  14. ^ Lukens, John R.; Gurung, Prajwal; Vogel, Peter; Johnson, Gordon R.; Carter, Robert A.; McGoldrick, Daniel J.; Bandi, Srinivasa Rao; Calabrese, Christopher R.; Walle, Lieselotte Vande (2014-12-11). "Dietary modulation of the microbiome affects autoinflammatory disease". Nature. 516 (7530): 246–249. Bibcode:2014Natur.516..246L. doi:10.1038/nature13788. ISSN 0028-0836. PMC 4268032. PMID 25274309.
  15. ^ Di Bella, Stefano; Antonello, Roberta Maria; Sanson, Gianfranco; Maraolo, Alberto Enrico; Giacobbe, Daniele Roberto; Sepulcri, Chiara; Ambretti, Simone; Aschbacher, Richard; Bartolini, Laura; Bernardo, Mariano; Bielli, Alessandra (June 2022). "Anaerobic bloodstream infections in Italy (ITANAEROBY): A 5-year retrospective nationwide survey". Anaerobe. 75: 102583. doi:10.1016/j.anaerobe.2022.102583. PMID 35568274. S2CID 248736289.