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Lab Anim. 1993 Apr;27(2):141-50.

Intestinal, segmented, filamentous bacteria in a wide range of vertebrate species.

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Central Animal Laboratory, Catholic University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


Segmented, filamentous bacteria (SFBs) form a group of bacteria with similar morphology and are identified on the basis of their morphology only. The relationships of these organisms are unclear as the application of formal taxonomic criteria is impossible currently due to the lack of an in vitro technique to culture SFBs. The intestine of laboratory animals such as mice, rats, chickens, dogs, cats and pigs is known to harbour SFBs. To see whether this extends to other animal species, intestines from 18 vertebrate species, including man, were examined. SFBs were detected with light microscopy in the cat, dog, rhesus monkey, crab-eating macaque, domestic fowl, South African claw-footed toad, carp, man, laboratory mouse and rat, wood mouse, jackdaw and magpie. These results suggest that non-pathogenic SFBs are ubiquitous in the animal kingdom. Among apparently identical animals, there was considerable variation in the degree of SFB colonization. It is suggested that SFB colonization could serve as a criterion of standardization of laboratory animals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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