What is Faecalibacterium prausnitzii?

May 24, 2023 2 min read

What is Faecalibacterium prausnitzii?

Faecalibacterium prausnitzii is a Gram-positive, anaerobic, commensal bacterium that belongs to the Firmicutes phylum. It is considered to be a beneficial bacterium for human health due to its various functions and benefits. Here are five key points summarizing what Faecalibacterium prausnitzii is and its benefits:

  • Faecalibacterium prausnitzii is one of the most abundant bacteria in the human gut microbiota, comprising up to 15% of the total gut microbiota. It is commonly found in the large intestine, where it plays an important role in maintaining gut health.
  • Faecalibacterium prausnitzii has anti-inflammatory properties and is known to produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) such as butyrate, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects on the gut. This makes it an important bacterium in regulating the immune system and preventing chronic inflammatory diseases.
  • Studies have shown that the presence of Faecalibacterium prausnitzii in the gut is associated with lower incidence of various diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and colorectal cancer. It is believed that this is due to its anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to maintain gut barrier integrity.
  • Faecalibacterium prausnitzii has been shown to have a positive impact on mental health. Studies have found that individuals with depression and anxiety have lower levels of Faecalibacterium prausnitzii in their gut microbiota, suggesting a possible link between gut microbiota and mental health.
  • Faecalibacterium prausnitzii is sensitive to various antibiotics and can be depleted by their use, which can lead to dysbiosis and gut health issues. Therefore, it is important to avoid unnecessary use of antibiotics and to consider probiotics or prebiotics as a way to restore and maintain healthy levels of Faecalibacterium prausnitzii in the gut.

Overall, Faecalibacterium prausnitzii is an important bacterium in the human gut microbiota, with various functions and benefits for human health. Its anti-inflammatory properties, ability to produce SCFAs, and positive impact on mental health make it a beneficial bacterium to have in the gut. However, its sensitivity to antibiotics highlights the importance of maintaining a healthy gut microbiota through proper use of antibiotics and use of probiotics or prebiotics to support beneficial bacteria like Faecalibacterium prausnitzii.


  1.  Miquel, S., Martín, R., Rossi, O., Bermúdez-Humarán, L. G., Chatel, J. M., Sokol, H., ... & Langella, P. (2013). Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and human intestinal health. Current opinion in microbiology, 16(3), 255-261.
  2. Balamurugan, R., George, G., Kabeerdoss, J., Hepsiba, J., Chandragunasekaran, A. M., & Ramakrishna, B. S. (2010). Quantitative differences in intestinal Faecalibacterium prausnitzii in obese Indian children. British Journal of Nutrition, 103(3), 335-338.
  3. Quévrain, E., Maubert, M. A., Michon, C., Chain, F., Marquant, R., Tailhades, J., ... & Langella, P. (2015). Identification of an anti-inflammatory protein from Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, a commensal bacterium deficient in Crohn's disease. Gut, 65(3), 415-425.
  4. Sánchez, B., González-Rodríguez, I., Arboleya, S., López, P., Suárez, A., & de los Reyes-Gavilán, C. G. (2017). Probiotic properties of 20 common foodborne isolates of faecalibacterium androsii. International journal of food microbiology, 241, 217-225.
  5. Khan, M. T., Duncan, S. H., Stams, A. J., van Dijl, J. M., Flint, H. J., & Harmsen, H. J. (2012). The gut anaerobe Faecalibacterium prausnitzii uses an extracellular electron shuttle to grow at oxic–anoxic interphases. The ISME journal, 6(8), 1578-1585.

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