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Syst Appl Microbiol. 2001 Apr;24(1):139-45.

Fusobacterium prausnitzii and related species represent a dominant group within the human fecal flora.

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  • 1Unité d'écologie et de physiologie du système digestif, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Jouy-en-Josas, France.


The human gut microflora plays a key role in nutrition and health. It has been extensively studied by conventional culture techniques. However these methods are difficult, time consuming and their results not always consistent. Furthermore microscopic counts indicate that only 20 to 40% of the total flora can be cultivated. Among the predominant species of the human gut, Fusobacterium prausnitzii was reported either as one of the most frequent and numerous species or was seldom retrieved. We designed and validated a specific rRNA-targeted oligonucleotide probe, called S-*-Fprau-0645-a-A-23, to accurately detect and quantify F. prausnitzii and relatives within the human fecal microflora. The target group accounted for 5.3 +/- 3% of total bacterial 16S rRNA using dot blot hybridization (10 human fecal samples) and 16.5 +/- 7% of cells stained with Dapi using in situ hybridization (10 other human fecal samples). A specific morphology seemed to be typical and dominant: two cells forming an asymmetrical double droplet. This work showed that F. prausnitzii and phylogenetically related species represent a dominant group within the human fecal flora.

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