Fusobacterium necrophorum oral infections – A need for guidance

Academic Article


  • F. necrophorum, a gram-negative obligate anaerobe, causes pharyngotonsillitis, peritonsillar abscess and the Lemierre Syndrome as well as other significant infections. Clinical information on this bacterium has increased dramatically over the past 20 years, yet no standard guidance exists for treating these infections. While data support F. necrophorum as a cause of pharyngotonsillitis, no consensus exists on the clinical importance of these findings especially in the 15–30 age group. Similarly, recent data find this bacterium the most frequent and most likely to recur in peritonsillar abscess for that age group. Should this impact how we treat these patients? Finally, we have no studies of either antibiotics or anticoagulation for the Lemierre Syndrome. Thus, each physician making the diagnosis of the Lemierre Syndrome chooses antibiotics (and their duration) and whether or not to anticoagulate without guidance. Infectious disease specialists and hospitalists would benefit from consensus expert opinions based on reviewing data on these infections.
  • Published In

  • Anaerobe  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 25409646
  • Author List

  • Centor RM; Atkinson TP; Xiao L
  • Volume

  • 75