Bacteroides fragilis

John G. Bartlett, M.D., Valeria Fabre, M.D.
Bacteroides fragilis is a topic covered in the Johns Hopkins ABX Guide.

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MICROBIOLOGY

  • Small, pleomorphic Gram-negative anaerobic bacillus
    • Of all species, B. fragilis causes most human Bacteroides infections.
  • Other members of B. fragilis group include:
    • Bacteroides distasonis 
    • Bacteroides ovatus 
    • Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron 
    • Bacteroides vulgatus 
  • Easily grown relative to other anaerobes
  • Colonizes virtually all human colons
  • Organism possibly important in the gut for immune modulation.
  • B. fragilis group almost always susceptible to metronidazole, carbapenems, beta-lactam/beta-lactamase inhibitors

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Last updated: February 6, 2019