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Oral Microbiol Immunol. 1990 Dec;5(6):324-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-302x.1990.tb00434.x.

Distribution and frequency of Fusobacterium nucleatum subspecies in the human oral cavity.

Oral microbiology and immunology

S E Gharbia, H N Shah, P A Lawson, M Haapasalo


  1. London Hospital Medical College, United Kingdom.

PMID: 2098710 DOI: 10.1111/j.1399-302x.1990.tb00434.x


Three reference strains of Fusobacterium nucleatum and 32 human oral isolates were compared by a variety of physiological tests, enzyme electrophoretic profiles, SDS-PAGE patterns, DNA base composition and hybridization to test their possible site specificity and frequency of the recently described subspecies of F. nucleatum. Nine of the 11 isolates assigned to F. nucleatum subspecies nucleatum were from diseased sites, whereas isolates from healthy sites were all identified as F. nucleatum subspecies polymorphum or F. nucleatum subspecies fusiforme. Strains of the latter subspecies were the least frequently isolated (2 of 32). These results, although still inconclusive because of the relatively small sample size, nevertheless confirmed the heterogeneity of F. nucleatum and indicate that most human oral isolates from subgingival sites probably belong to F. nucleatum subspecies nucleatum.

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