Fusobacterium necrophorum is a strictly anaerobic, non-spore-forming, Gram-negative Bacillus encompassing two subspecies. Fusobacterium necrophorum subsp. necrophorum (FNN) is commonly found in animals, where it is the causative agent of foot rot and abscesses. Fusobacterium necrophorum subsp. fundiliforme (FNF) is found in humans and is the causative agent of Lemierre’s disease, a condition associated with throat infections. Little is currently known about the genomic diversity of the two subspecies. Whole-genome sequences were generated for 18 Fusobacterium necrophorum isolates recovered from recurrent and persistent sort throats in UK patients. Sixty-three whole genome sequences available for Fusobacterium spp. were downloaded from GenBank and compared with the newly sequenced isolates. All-against-all comparisons of average nucleotide identity (ANI) were done to confirm species affiliation. Strains of FNN (n=6) and FNF (n=43) shared ∼97 % ANI with each other, while strains of the same subspecies shared >98 % with one another. All the newly sequenced isolates belonged to FNF. All 49 Fusobacterium necrophorum sensu stricto genomes were subject to comparative and pangenome analyses. The strains fell into two groups, with the majority of strains clustering with the type strain of FNF. Three distinct clusters of strains were identified within the FNF group, and analyses are underway to determine their potential clinical significance. Analyses of virulence-associated leukotoxin genes are also being undertaken. It is envisaged that in-depth analyses of a large collection of Fusobacterium necrophorum genomes, particularly those of FNF, will provide novel insights into pathogenesis of these fastidious anaerobic bacteria.

  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Most cited this month Most Cited RSS feed

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error