Journal Article

Seroprevalence of <i>Fusobacterium varium</i> in ulcerative colitis patients in Japan

Masaaki Minami, Takafumi Ando, Akira Okamoto, Nobutaka Sasaki, Teruko Ohkura, Keizo Torii, Tadao Hasegawa, Michio Ohta and Hidemi Goto

in FEMS Immunology & Medical Microbiology

Published on behalf of Federation of Microbiological Societies

Volume 56, issue 1, pages 67-72
Published in print June 2009 | ISSN: 0928-8244
Published online May 2009 | e-ISSN: 1574-695X | DOI:
Seroprevalence of Fusobacterium varium in ulcerative colitis patients in Japan

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  • Medical Microbiology and Virology
  • Biotechnology
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  • Microbiology
  • Molecular and Cell Biology


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The etiology of ulcerative colitis (UC) is unknown, while an exacerbating factor of this disease is associated with infectious agents. Recently, Fusobacterium varium has been found in the mucosa of a significant number of patients with UC. The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of F. varium infection based on serology, evaluate the relationship between F. varium seropositivity and UC, and determine the clinical characteristics of infected UC individuals. Seropositive patients were determined by immunoblotting with F. varium ATCC 8501 antigen. We also identified cross-reactive protein spots by peptide mass mapping analysis. These protein spots showed putative caseinolytic protease protein, putative translation elongation factor G, and putative enolase. Immunoblotting with F. varium antigen revealed signals with sera from 45 (40.2%) of the 112 UC patients and 20 (15.6%) of the 128 healthy controls, respectively (P<0.01). In terms of disease activity, seropositive UC patients were more likely to have clinically severe disease than seronegative UC patients. Disease location in seropositive patients was more extensive than the seronegative patients. In conclusion, F. varium is a predominant infection in the UC population and is a potential pathogen of UC.

Keywords: Fusobacterium varium; ulcerative colitis; immunoblotting

Journal Article.  3542 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Microbiology and Virology ; Biotechnology ; Genetics and Genomics ; Microbiology ; Molecular and Cell Biology

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