Current Microbiology

, Volume 27, Issue 5, pp 261–265 | Cite as

Methanogens in the human intestinal tract and oral cavity

  • T. Brusa
  • E. Canzi
  • L. Allievi
  • E. Del Puppo
  • A. Ferrari


The incidence and concentration of methanobacteria in the human intestinal tract have not been well evaluated. Only recently were such microorganisms found in the oral cavity. We determined the counts of methanogens in the feces of healthy subjects on a Mediterranean diet and evaluated whether individuals with methanobacteria in the intestine also harbor such bacteria in the oral cavity. Methanobacteria were observed in the feces of 18 of the 20 subjects, at a level ranging from 103 to 1010/g dry wt. Only 45% of the subjects harbored methanobacteria in the plaque and saliva, showing that the presence of methanogens in the oral cavity was not correlated with their presence in the feces. The presence and number of methanobacteria appeared to remain constant after 3 months. A short rod arranged in chains, similar to theMethanobrevibacter smithii which predominates in feces, was the methanogenic form present in the mouth.


Healthy Subject Oral Cavity Intestinal Tract Mediterranean Diet Human Intestinal Tract 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Brusa
    • 1
  • E. Canzi
    • 1
  • L. Allievi
    • 1
  • E. Del Puppo
    • 1
  • A. Ferrari
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Food Science and Microbiology, Section of Agricultural, Food and Ecological MicrobiologyUniversity of MilanMilanItaly

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