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Dr. Delgado's Research Takeaway: Fusobacterium and its Role in Endometriosis Development

Medically reviewed by: Melissa A. Delgado, MD, FACOG

Melissa A. Delgado, MD, FACOG is the founder and owner of The Chronic Pelvic Pain Center of Northern Virginia. Dr. Delgado is an experienced, board-certified OB/GYN and has spent the past 10 years dedicating her time to understanding complex and persistent pelvic pain.

A close-up photograph showing a woman holding her abdominal.
Image Source: Unsplash

After taking a look at NCBIs research article (Fusobacterium infection facilitates the development of endometriosis through the phenotypic transition of endometrial fibroblasts), Dr. Delgado has outlined her takeaways and summaries to share in our effort to spread awareness about endometriosis and our approach here at The Chronic Pelvic Pain Center.

Dr. Delgado's Takeaway: Recent groundbreaking research has uncovered a potential bacterial player in the development of endometriosis, offering new hope for millions affected by this painful condition.

What You Need to Know

  • In a significant discovery, researchers found Fusobacterium in 64% of patients with endometriosis, compared to less than 10% in healthy controls. This finding suggests a strong link between this bacteria and endometriosis.

  •  The bacteria appear to trigger a change in specific pelvic cells that can lead to endometriosis. In this condition, tissue similar to the lining inside the uterus starts growing outside it, often causing severe pain and infertility.

A Closer Look at the Research

  • Scientists used advanced techniques to analyze how Fusobacterium affects cells in the pelvic area.

  • The study extended to animal models, confirming the role of the bacteria in promoting the growth of endometriotic lesions—essentially misplaced tissue growths typical in endometriosis.

Key Findings:

  • The presence of Fusobacterium kickstarts a process where normal, quiet fibroblasts (the cells that build connective tissue) transform into more aggressive forms called myofibroblasts. These new cells are more likely to multiply, stick, and move around, all of which contribute to the development of endometriosis.

  • Interestingly, treating these conditions with antibiotics in mice prevented the disease from taking hold and lessened the severity of existing conditions, pointing towards a new treatment pathway.

Why This Matters

  • These insights are more than just scientific advancements; they offer a glimmer of hope for less invasive treatments that could one day replace or complement the current surgical and hormonal therapies.

  • Understanding the bacterial influences in endometriosis could lead to preventative strategies and less painful lives for those affected.


  • The discovery of Fusobacterium’s role offers exciting new perspectives on the pathogenesis of endometriosis.

  •  This study opens exciting new doors in understanding and potentially treating endometriosis.

  • Targeting Fusobacterium or modifying the bacterial environment of the pelvic region could be a viable strategy for managing and potentially preventing endometriosis.


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