Colon pp 103-119 | Cite as

Bacteriology of the Colon

  • Gary L. Simon
  • Sherwood L. Gorbach
Part of the Topics in Gastroenterology book series (TGEN)


The microflora of the colon is an extraordinarly complex ecologic niche, consisting of both aerobic and anaerobic bacteria. Extensive microbiologic studies have revealed that a single individual harbors more than 400 different bacterial species in the colonic flora.1 Characterization of such a heterogenous mixture by classic bacteriologic techniques is a monumental task; it has been estimated that a complete microbiologic analysis of a single fecal specimen requires up to 1 year to complete. Fortunately, a reasonable description of the colonic microflora is possible to construct by considering only the most representative microorganisms (Table 1).


Natl Cancer Inst Intestinal Microflora Fecal Flora Colonic Flora Germfree Animal 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gary L. Simon
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sherwood L. Gorbach
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Infectious DiseasesThe George Washington University Medical CenterUSA
  2. 2.Division of Infectious DiseasesTufts-New England Medical CenterBostonUSA

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