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Res Microbiol. 2010 Mar;161(2):91-100. doi: 10.1016/j.resmic.2009.12.008. Epub 2010 Jan 15.

Phylogeny, diversity and host specialization in the phylum Synergistetes with emphasis on strains and clones of human origin.

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Université Montpellier 1, EA 3755, Laboratoire de Bactériologie-Virologie, Faculté de Pharmacie, 15, Avenue Charles Flahault, BP 14491, 34093 Montpellier Cedex 5, France.


Members of the phylum Synergistetes have been demonstrated in several environmental ecosystems and mammalian microflorae by culture-independent methods. In the past few years, the clinical relevance of some uncultivated phylotypes has been demonstrated in endodontic infections, and uncultured Synergistetes have been demonstrated in human mouth, gut and skin microbiota. However, Synergistetes are rarely cultured from human samples, and only 17 isolates are currently reported. Twelve members of Synergistetes isolated in the course of various infectious processes, including 3 Jonquetella anthropi, 2 Cloacibacillus evryensis, 2 Pyramidobacter piscolens and 5 unidentified strains, as well as 56 clones obtained by specific PCR from the normal vaginal microflora, were studied. 16S rRNA gene-based phylogeny showed that the clones were grouped into 3 clusters, corresponding to the genus Jonquetella, P. piscolens and one novel Synergistetes taxon. The presence and diversity of Synergistetes were reported for the first time in the vaginal microflora. Synergistetes were found in healthy patients, suggesting that they could play a functional role in human microflorae, but may also act as opportunistic pathogens. Studying the phylogenetic relationships between environmental and mammalian strains and clones revealed clearly delineated independent lineages according to the origin of the sequences.

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