Topic “Prevotella” Falls Under the Scope of Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Education


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Prevotella is a genus of Gram-negative bacteria. Prevotella spp. are members of the oral, vaginal, and gut microbiota and are often recovered from anaerobic infections of the respiratory tract. These infections include aspiration pneumonia, lung abscess, pulmonary empyema, and chronic otitis media and sinusitis. They have been isolated from abscesses and burns in the vicinity of the mouth, bites, paronychia, urinary tract infection, brain abscesses, osteomyelitis, and bacteremia associated with upper respiratory tract infections. Prevotella spp. predominate in periodontal disease and periodontal abscesses.

Research of human microbiota show that human gut is mainly inhabited by two phyla of bacteria – Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes, the latter mostly dominated by Bacteroides and Prevotella genera. Prevotella and Bacteroides are thought to have had a common ancestor. However classification is still undergoing, for example Bacteroides melaninogenicus has been reclassified and split into Prevotella melaninogenica and Prevotella intermedia.

Either Prevotella or Bacteroides dominates the gut and they were proposed to be antagonistic. Prevotella is more common in non-Westernised populations consuming plant-rich diet. In Western populations it has also been associated with vegetarian or Mediterranean diets rich in fruits and vegetables. In accordance, genome analysis of Prevotella copri showed it was deficient in the ability to degrade host glycans and is more genetically equipped for plant glycan degradation. In a study of gut bacteria of children in Burkina Faso (in Africa), Prevotella made up 53% of the gut bacteria, but were absent in age-matched European children.

Prevotella species are also common vaginal commensals. Increased abundance of Prevotella in vaginal mucosa has been associated to bacterial vaginosis. Prevotella was shown to be the most heritable bacterial group in vaginal microbiome and its abundance was linked to body mass index and hormonal milieu. Prevotella bivia produces lipopolysaccharides and ammonia that are part of vaginal mucus. It is also associated with epithelial cytokine production and enhances the growth of other bacterial vaginosis-associated organisms, such as Gardnerella vaginalis. The later in turn was found to stimulate growth of P. bivia.

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