What does this bacterium look like?
The genus Fusobacterium is narrow and rod-shaped and about 1 to 2 micrometers in size. This bacterium prefers to grow in low-oxygen environments.
What does science already know about this bacterium?
Fusobacterium is part of an overall healthy human microbiome, but some types of these bacteria can sometimes cause disease. Fusobacterium is a true opportunist and will take full advantage of the right conditions to grow and cause infections.
What is this bacterium doing in my mouth?
This bacterium can adhere to various mouth surfaces and is therefore part of a healthy salivary microbiome. However, when the right moment occurs, this bacterium can cause infections in the mouth.
Does this bacterium occur elsewhere?
This bacterium, usually Fusobacterium nucleatus, is also sometimes found in the vagina. This bacterial species is often found in bacterial vaginosis, a condition characterized by a disturbed microbiome: overgrowth by unwanted bacteria and too few lactobacilli. Outside the human body, we find Fusobacterium species in animals such as dogs and cats.