Cancer invasion and anaerobic bacteria: New insights into mechanisms

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There is growing evidence that altered microbiota abundance of a range of specific anaerobic bacteria are associated with cancer, including Peptoniphilus spp., Porphyromonas spp., Fusobacterium spp., Fenollaria spp., Prevotella spp., Sneathia spp., Veillonella spp., and Anaerococcus spp. linked to multiple cancer types. In this review we explore these pathogenic associations. The mechanisms by which bacteria are known or predicted to interact with human cells are reviewed and we present an overview of the interlinked mechanisms and hypotheses of how multiple intracellular anaerobic bacterial pathogens may act together to cause host cell and tissue microenvironment changes associated with carcinogenesis and cancer cell invasion. These include combined effects on changes in cell signalling, DNA damage, cellular metabolism and immune evasion. Strategies for early detection and eradication of anaerobic cancer associated bacterial pathogens that may prevent cancer progression are proposed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number001817
JournalJournal of Medical Microbiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2024


  • anaerobic bacteria, polymicrobial, pathogenic, cancer, mechanisms, bacterial invasion, intracellular bacteria, aggressive cancer, metastases, infection
  • intracellular bacteria
  • metastases
  • infection
  • pathogenic
  • anaerobic bacteria
  • aggressive cancer
  • cancer
  • bacterial invasion
  • mechanisms
  • polymicrobial

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