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Toxin Production by Non-Culturable Verocytotoxigenic Escherichia coli (VTEC)

University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Start date
End date

The main objectives are to:

  • Establish well-defined non-culturable populations of VTEC
  • Determine the capacity of cells within these populations to express ?ü-galactosidase (lacZ) in response to exogenous stimuli
  • Study the production of verotoxins (VT) by non-culturable populations of VTEC
  • Construct reporter-fusions of verotoxin (VT) genes with the Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) and/or lacZ in order to determine Shiga-like toxin (SLT) production at the single bacterial cell level
  • Use the reporter-fusions to study VT production in specialised environments including food and faecal microcosms
  • Study the effects of external influences such as heat-stress and antibiotics on VT production in non-culturable cells.
More information
This project will study environmental factors that influence the production of verotoxin (VT) by VTEC.

Emphasis will be on the capacity of non-culturable cells of VTEC to produce VT since such organisms, which may remain undetected by conventional methodologies, may remain pathogenic and infective.

New methodologies for the detection and evaluation of non-culturable VTEC cells will be the main objective of this project.

Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the Food Standards Agency Research webpage.

Funding Source
Food Standards Agency
Project number
Escherichia coli
Natural Toxins