What does this bacterium look like?
Veillonella has a round shape and occurs mostly in pairs. This bacterium was first described in 1898 by Veillon and Zuber.
What does science already know about this bacterium?
In general, the genus of Veillonella bacteria is benign. In your mouth, for example, these bacteria are important for cooperating with other bacteria and getting rid of toxic organic acids. So this bacterium is part of a healthy salivary microbiome. But sometimes Veillonella is also associated with infections in the mouth or occurs in your sinuses, lungs or wounds and there they sometimes seem to be involved in inflammation.
What is this bacterium doing in my mouth?
Very little is known about the role of Veillonella in saliva. However, the bacteria do play an important role in the formation of biofilms (a layer of microorganisms) on teeth.
What is this bacterium doing on my skin?
Veillonella is not normally found on your skin. It’s often too dry there and these bacteria prefer not to be in an oxygen-rich environment. But the skin around your mouth often comes in contact with saliva, so it’s not so surprising that we did find them in those swabs.
Does this bacterium occur elsewhere?
Several Veillonella species we find mostly in the mouth, but other species are in your intestines and very occasionally they are also found in the vagina.