Document Detail

Fusobacterium nucleatum induces premature and term stillbirths in pregnant mice: implication of oral bacteria in preterm birth.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15039352     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Fusobacterium nucleatum is a gram-negative anaerobe ubiquitous to the oral cavity. It is associated with periodontal disease. It is also associated with preterm birth and has been isolated from the amniotic fluid, placenta, and chorioamnionic membranes of women delivering prematurely. Periodontal disease is a newly recognized risk factor for preterm birth. This study examined the possible mechanism underlying the link between these two diseases. F. nucleatum strains isolated from amniotic fluids and placentas along with those isolated from orally related sources invaded both epithelial and endothelial cells. The invasive ability may enable F. nucleatum to colonize and infect the pregnant uterus. Transient bacteremia caused by periodontal infection may facilitate bacterial transmission from the oral cavity to the uterus. To test this hypothesis, we intravenously injected F. nucleatum into pregnant CF-1 mice. The injection resulted in premature delivery, stillbirths, and nonsustained live births. The bacterial infection was restricted inside the uterus, without spreading systemically. F. nucleatum was first detected in the blood vessels in murine placentas. Invasion of the endothelial cells lining the blood vessels was observed. The bacteria then crossed the endothelium, proliferated in surrounding tissues, and finally spread to the amniotic fluid. The pattern of infection paralleled that in humans. This study represents the first evidence that F. nucleatum may be transmitted hematogenously to the placenta and cause adverse pregnancy outcomes. The results strengthen the link between periodontal disease and preterm birth. Our study also indicates that invasion may be an important virulence mechanism for F. nucleatum to infect the placenta.
Yiping W Han; Raymond W Redline; Mei Li; Lihong Yin; Gale B Hill; Thomas S McCormick
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Infection and immunity     Volume:  72     ISSN:  0019-9567     ISO Abbreviation:  Infect. Immun.     Publication Date:  2004 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2004-03-24     Completed Date:  2004-05-07     Revised Date:  2009-11-18    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0246127     Medline TA:  Infect Immun     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  2272-9     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Periodontics, School of Dental Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio 44106-4905, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Amniotic Fluid / microbiology
Cells, Cultured
Endothelial Cells / microbiology
Epithelial Cells / microbiology
Fusobacterium Infections / complications*,  microbiology
Fusobacterium nucleatum / pathogenicity*,  physiology
Microscopy, Electron
Obstetric Labor, Premature / microbiology*
Placenta / microbiology
Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / microbiology*
Pregnancy Outcome*
Umbilical Veins
Uterus / microbiology
Grant Support

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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