Ecology and metabolism of the beneficial intestinal commensal bacterium Faecalibacterium prausnitzii

Gut Microbes. 2014 Mar-Apr;5(2):146-51. doi: 10.4161/gmic.27651. Epub 2014 Jan 22.


Faecalibacterium prausnitzii is a major commensal bacterium, and its prevalence is often decreased in conditions of intestinal dysbiosis. The phylogenic identity of this bacterium was described only recently. It is still poorly characterized, and its specific growth requirements in the human gastrointestinal tract are not known. In this review, we consider F. prausnitzii metabolism, its ecophysiology in both humans and animals, and the effects of drugs and nutrition on its population. We list important questions about this beneficial and ubiquitous commensal bacterium that it would be valuable to answer.

Keywords: ecophysiology; medicine; metabolism; nutrition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Ecology*
  • Gram-Positive Bacteria / genetics
  • Gram-Positive Bacteria / metabolism*
  • Gram-Positive Bacteria / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Intestines / microbiology*