Oxalobacter formigenes gen. nov., sp. nov.: oxalate-degrading anaerobes that inhabit the gastrointestinal tract

Arch Microbiol. 1985 Feb;141(1):1-7. doi: 10.1007/BF00446731.


This report describes a new group of anaerobic bacteria that degrade oxalic acid. The new genus and species, Oxalobacter formigenes, are inhabitants of the rumen and also of the large bowel of man and other animals where their actions in destruction of oxalic acid may be of considerable importance to the host. Isolates from the rumen of a sheep, the cecum of a pig, and from human feces were all similar Gram-negative, obligately anaerobic rods, but differences between isolates in cellular fatty acid composition and in serologic reaction were noted. Measurements made with type strain OxB indicated that 1 mol of protons was consumed per mol of oxalate degraded to produce approximately 1 mol of CO2 and 0.9 mol of formate. Substances that replaced oxalate as a growth substrate were not found.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacteroidaceae / classification
  • Bacteroidaceae / isolation & purification
  • Bacteroidaceae / metabolism*
  • Culture Media
  • Enterobacteriaceae / classification
  • Enterobacteriaceae / isolation & purification
  • Enterobacteriaceae / metabolism*
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Oxalates / metabolism
  • Species Specificity
  • Swine / microbiology


  • Culture Media
  • Fatty Acids
  • Oxalates