Isolation of Fusobacterium necrophorum from cancrum oris (noma).

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  • 1 Department of Oral and Craniofacial Biological Sciences, School of Dentistry, University of Maryland, Baltimore 21201, USA.

A study of the predominant microflora in active sites of noma (cancrum oris) lesions was carried out in eight noma patients 3-15 years of age in Sokoto State in northwestern Nigeria. Paper point sampling and conventional anaerobic microbiologic techniques were used. Fusobacterium necrophorum was recovered from 87.5% of the noma lesions. Oral microorganisms included Prevotella intermedia, alpha-hemolytic streptococci, and Actinomyces spp. which were isolated from 75.0%, 50.0%, and 37.5% of the patients, respectively. Peptostreptococcus micros, Veillonella parvula, Staphylococcus aureus, and Pseudomonas spp. were each recovered from one lesion. The F. necrophorum and P. intermedia isolates were tested for antibiotic sensitivity to clindamycin, tetracycline, metronidazole, and penicillin using the E-test, and all strains were observed to be sensitive to all of the antibiotics tested with the exception of one strain of P. intermedia, which showed resistance to penicillin. The first reported isolation from human noma lesions of F. necrophorum, a pathogen primarily associated with animal diseases, may have important etiologic and animal transmission implications.

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