Fusobacterium Detected in Colonic Biopsy and Clinicopathological Features of Ulcerative Colitis in Japan

Tomomitsu Tahara, Tomoyuki Shibata, Tomohiko Kawamura, Masaaki Okubo, Yuichiro Ichikawa, Kazuya Sumi, Masahiro Miyata, Takamitsu Ishizuka, Masakatsu Nakamura, Mitsuo Nagasaka, Yoshihito Nakagawa, Naoki Ohmiya, Tomiyasu Arisawa, Ichiro Hirata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Aims: Fusobacterium species are part of the gut microbiome in humans, but some species have been recognized as opportunistic pathogens implicated in inflammatory diseases including inflammatory bowel diseases. Here, we performed prevalence screening of Fusobacterium in ulcerative colitis (UC) in Japanese patients.

Methods: We examined Fusobacterium nucleatum (F. nucleatum) and whole Fusobacteriumspecies (Pan-fusobacterium) by quantitative real-time PCR in 163 inflamed mucosae from 152 UC patients. Data were correlated with clinical subtypes of UC.

Results: In an initial prevalence screen, F. nucleatum and Pan-fusobacterium were detected in 6.3 % (4/64) and 53.1 % (34/64). For all 163 mucosae, the prevalence of Pan-fusobacterium was 54.6 % (89/163). Pan-fusobacterium status was concordant in inflamed and normal adjacent samples, and the matched cases during 1-year follow-up colonoscopy. The higher amount of Pan-fusobacterium was observed in chronic continuous type compared to one attack and relapse/remitting type (p = 0.039). The higher amount of Pan-fusobacterium was also associated with rather mild clinical course of disease, such as non-steroid dependency (p = 0.015), non-refractory phenotype (p = 0.013), and non-severe phenotype (p = 0.04). Based on the distribution of Pan-fusobacterium measurable cases, we identified 10 cases as having a high amount of Pan-fusobacterium (FB-high). The clinicopathological features of FB-high UC cases were also highlighted by chronic continuous type and mild phenotypes of disease.

Conclusion: Whole Fusobacterium species, but not F. nucleatum, are common in UC patients and have a role in persistence of colonic inflammation in UC. However, Fusobacterium infection is associated with rather mild clinical phenotypes of UC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-210
Number of pages6
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01-2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology


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