Innovations in Biotechnology and Medical Sciences

Role of Fusobacterium in Colorectal Cancer


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Fusobacterium nucleatum animalis (Fna)

Mains level: NA

Why in the news?

  • Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in the US have identified specific subtypes of Fusobacterium nucleatum associated with colorectal cancer (CRC) tumors.
  • These subtypes, particularly Fusobacterium nucleatum animalis (Fna), have been found in relatively higher quantities in CRC tumors.

About Fusobacterium nucleatum

  • Fusobacterium nucleatum is a species of bacteria commonly found in the human mouth.
  • It is a gram-negative anaerobic bacterium, meaning it does not require oxygen for growth.
  • While typically residing in the oral cavity, it has been associated with various diseases and conditions, including periodontal diseases and colorectal cancer.

Association with Colorectal Cancer (CRC):

  • In cases of colorectal cancer (CRC), Fusobacterium nucleatum has been found within tumors in the gut.
  • Studies have shown that this bacterium can aid cancer cells in evading the immune system and promoting metastasis, or the spread of cancer to other parts of the body.
  • Its presence in CRC tumors has led to investigations into its potential role in the development and progression of colorectal cancer.


  • Assisting cancer cells in evading the immune system.
  • Promoting inflammation and creating an environment conducive to tumor growth.
  • Facilitating metastasis by interacting with cancer cells and promoting their spread to other tissues.


[2013] Improper handling and storage of cereal grains and oilseeds result in the production of toxins known as Aflatoxins which are not generally destroyed by normal cooking process. Aflatoxins are produced by:

(a) Bacteria

(b) Protozoa

(c) Moulds

(d) Viruses

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