Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 66, Issue 5, pp 465–474 | Cite as

Archaea in protozoa and metazoa

  • Marianne Lange
  • Peter Westermann
  • Birgitte Kiær AhringEmail author


The presence of Archaea is currently being explored in various environments, including extreme geographic positions and eukaryotic habitats. Methanogens are the dominating archaeal organisms found in most animals, from unicellular protozoa to humans. Many methanogens can contribute to the removal of hydrogen, thereby improving the efficiency of fermentation or the reductive capacity of energy-yielding reactions. They may also be involved in tissue damage in periodontal patients. Recent molecular studies demonstrated the presence of Archaea other than methanogens in some animals—but so far, not in humans. The roles of these microorganisms have not yet been established. In the present review, we present the state of the art regarding the archaeal microflora in animals.


Archaea Bacterial Vaginosis Rumen Fluid Methanomicrobiales Acetogenic Bacterium 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We are grateful to Familien Hede–Nielsens Fond, Denmark, and the Danish SNF Centre “Archaea: Biodiversity and Evolution” for financial support.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marianne Lange
    • 1
  • Peter Westermann
    • 1
  • Birgitte Kiær Ahring
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.BioCentrumTechnical University of DenmarkLyngbyDenmark

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