Campylobacter jejuni cannot catabolise sugars and must rely on other carbon sources for growth in vivo. We recently obtained evidence that amino-acid catabolism is crucial, as mutants unable to convert L-serine to pyruvate and ammonia via an oxygen-labile serine dehydratase are unable to colonise the avian gut. <P>
In this project we will: <OL> <LI> Undertake a comprehensive analysis of catabolic pathways for aspartate, asparagine, glutamate, glutamine and proline in wild-type and mutants cells in vitro, using a combination of transport assays, enzyme characterisation and NMR-analysis <LI>Determine which of these pathways are important in vivo, by chicken colonisation studies with defined mutants. </OL> The results could underpin novel intervention strategies aimed at limiting the growth of C. jejuni in poultry by preventing catabolism of specific amino-acids.