Bacteroides faecis

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Higher order taxa

Bacteria; Bacteroidetes; Bacteroidetes(class); Bacteroidales; Bacteroidacae; Bacteroides:


Bacteroides faecis:

Description and significance

This microbe is a found as the name indicates, in the faecis of humans. It is strictly anaerobic, gram negative, non spore forming rod and is non motile. The dimensions of this microbe are 1.5-2.0 micrometers in length and 1.0 micrometers in width. These cells are typically found singly and not in large chains. These cells thrive at 37 degrees Celcius but can survive between 25-43 degrees Celcius. On a peptone yeast glucose medium the colonies appear to be pale yellow, in a circular and convex shape. They also appeared to have a buttery texture along with a shiny look, these colonies were measured to 1.5 mm in diameter. The significance of this microbe is that it is found in the human gut and much like other Bacteroides' it helps with the decomposition of food in the intestines. This is a symbiotic bacteria.


Much like its other Bacteroides counterparts this bacteria is a decomposer of various mono/polysaccharides and ferments carbohydrates. The fatty acids found in this species were anteiso-C15 : 0, iso-C17 : 0 3-OH and C16 : 0 3-OH. Some of the enzymes present in this species are alpha-fucosidase, alpha and beta-galactosidase, beta-glucosidases, N-acetyl-beta-glucosaminadase, etc.


The DNA G+C content of this type of strain is 42.7+/- mol%. There was a 16S rRNA similarity between this species and the more researched Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron. The type of this strain was MAJ27. There was a wide range of coding for the metabolism of carbohydrates found in the DNA of this species. Some of these enzymes include an abundance of glycosylhydrolases, including galactosidases, glucosidases, mannosidases, and xylanases, was predicted, along with several hydrolases that degrade a variety of host-derived glycans, such as arylsulfatases, hexosaminidases, fucosidases, and sialidases. (2) This species is able to transfer genes via horizontal transfer to obtain the necessary enzyme to breakdown certain carbohydrates. This allows it to adapt and survive to different conditions in the gut.

Current Research

To date there is not much research that is being done on this microbe but there is on microbes from the same origin, the human intestine. There are studies being done with the B. thetaiotamicron strain to determine the importance of its symbiotic relationship with humans. This bacteria thus far has been only found in humans and dogs and can cause illness in humans.


Kim, M. S., Roh, S. W., & Bae, J. W. (2010). Bacteroides faecis sp. nov., isolated form human faecis. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, 60, 2572-2576. doi: 10.1099/ijs.0.020024-0

Kim, M. S., Roh, S. W., Bae, J. W., Whon, T. W., & Shin, N. R. (2011). Draft genome sequence of bacteria faecis maj27, a strain isolated from human feces . Journal of Bacteriology, 193(23), 6801-6802. doi: 10.1128/JB.06210-11

Edited by (Cody Bothel), student of Rachel Larsen at the University of Southern Maine