Conversion of DL-threonine, D-threonine and 2-oxobutyrate into propionate and 2-hydroxybutyrate by Fusobacterium species

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The present investigation examined DL-threonine, D-threonine and 2-oxobutyrate conversion into propionate and 2-hydroxybutyrate by various type strains and clinical isolates of Fusobacterium. Except for Fus. naviforme, the type strains were able to produce varying degrees of propionate and/or 2-hydroxybutyrate from DL-threonine. Additionally, D-threonine was converted into an equimolar amount of propionate by Fus. necrophorum subsp. necrophorum, Fus. nucleatum subsp. nucleatum and Fus. varium, and to a lower but significant amount by Fus. mortiferum and Fus. perfoetens. However, the level of propionate remained unchanged for Fus. nucleatum subsp. fusiforme, Fus. nucleatum subsp. vincentii, Fus. naviforme, Fus. necrophorum subsp. funduliforme, Fus. gonidiaforme and Fus. russii. 2-Oxobutyrate was fermented to propionate by all type strains, although Fus. russii reduced it mainly to 2-hydroxybutyrate. Thus, an attempt was made to make use of these features in order to identify clinical isolates.

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