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DAFM Award

DAFM National Call 2013 13 S 434 UCD (Teagasc) € 99,580

Project Title:

Effect of chicken mucin on Campylobacter jejuni global gene expression and colonisation of poultry

Project Coordinator:

Dr Marguerite Clyne

Project Abstract

Campylobacteriosis is the most frequent cause of bacterial gastroenteritis in Ireland and Europe. C. jejuni is a natural commensal in chickens which are an important source of human infection. 83% of Irish chicken flocks are contaminated with Campylobacter. While there is intense interest in how C. jejuni causes disease in humans, knowledge of why the organism exhibits a predilection for poultry and colonises birds so successfully is key to the development of novel strategies aimed at reducing the burden of Campylobacter in chickens. C. jejuni colonises the supramucosal layer of chicken intestines whereas in humans penetration of the mucosal barrier occurs and the organism invades the underlying epithelium. Chicken mucin inhibits C. jejuni invasion of epithelial cells and we have found that the organism exhibits a distinct tropism for chicken mucin which it binds avidly to. We hypothesise that chicken mucin plays a key role in modulating Campylobacter gene expression and colonization of chickens. We aim to examine C. jejuni global gene expression in the presence of chicken mucin and identify bacterial adhesins involved in binding to chicken mucin. This work is an essential step to enable development of strategies to reduce Campylobacter in chickens and to protect public health.

Final Report:

13 S 434 Final Report (pdf 316Kb)