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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2005 Feb;66(5):465-74. Epub 2004 Nov 17.

Archaea in protozoa and metazoa.

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BioCentrum, Technical University of Denmark, BioCentrum, Building 227, Lyngby, 2800, Denmark.


The presence of Archaea is currently being explored in various environments, including extreme geographic positions and eukaryotic habitats. Methanogens are the dominating archaeal organisms found in most animals, from unicellular protozoa to humans. Many methanogens can contribute to the removal of hydrogen, thereby improving the efficiency of fermentation or the reductive capacity of energy-yielding reactions. They may also be involved in tissue damage in periodontal patients. Recent molecular studies demonstrated the presence of Archaea other than methanogens in some animals-but so far, not in humans. The roles of these microorganisms have not yet been established. In the present review, we present the state of the art regarding the archaeal microflora in animals.

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