Bilophila wadsworthia

RANK: Species

TAXONOMY: Proteobacteria -> delta/epsilon subdivisions -> Deltaproteobacteria -> Desulfovibrionales -> Desulfovibrionaceae -> Bilophila -> Bilophila wadsworthia


Bilophila wadsworthia is a gram negative anaerobic rod . This bacteria carries out fermentation within the gut using taurine as the final electron acceptor . It is urease-positive, bile resistant, catalase-positive . It is largely found in patients that have appendicitis . It has been found to be penicillin resistant by changing its binding site for it. This has made the organism of clinical importance. Bilophila wadsworthia is normal flora in human feces and can be found occasionally in the saliva and vagina . This organism has been found to cause intra-abdominal abscesses and has been found in human feces. It was also found in the peridontal pockets of dogs as well . The specific virulence factor of this organism is something that has yet to be determined . The organism is commonly found in patients that have appendicitis and are experiencing stomach pain as the appendicitis has turned severe. Researchers found that an uncommon microbe called Bilophila wadsworthia was preferentially selected in the presence of milk fat. Previous studies had found high levels of B. wadsworthia in patients with appendicitis and other intestinal inflammatory disorders, including inflammatory bowel disease. As its name implies, Bilophila wadsworthia has an affinity for bile, a substance produced by the liver and released into the intestines to help break down ingested fats. Milk fats are particularly difficult to digest and require the liver to secrete a form of bile that is rich in sulfur. B. wadsworthia thrives in the presence of sulfur. So when the bile created to dissolve milk fats reaches the colon, it enables wadsworthia to blossom.

It has been proven that diets rich in saturated fat increase the abundance of some pathobionts that are pro-inflammatory, such as Bilophila wadsworthia or other gram-negative bacteria that provide LPS. This species has been identified as a resident in the human gastrointestinal tract based on the phylogenetic framework of its small subunit ribosomal RNA gene sequences.[PMC 4262072]

Gut associated
Flora/ commensal
Fecal distribution