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Dynamics of Colonisation of Chickens by Campylobacter Jejuni


Campylobacter is the main cause of bacterial enteritis in the developed world. A major source of infection is considered to be the chicken and traditional methodologies for control, such as vaccines and competitive exclusion have little effect. <P>
Our studies, carried out with signature- tagged mutants have shown that the process of colonisation is not as efficient as expected, suggesting that there are specific choke points for colonisation. Preliminary data would suggest a range of selective processes which may be occurring during infection. <P>We propose to investigate population dynamics of colonisation of chickens, both within and between birds. The project will use experimental infections with wild-type tagged mutants (WITS). These WITS will be tracked using a combination of quantitative PCR, and microarray analysis of the populations of Campylobacter within the avian intestinal tract, coupled with mathematical modelling, to study the growth and survival dynamics of C.jejuni within the host. Understanding of the processes of colonisation is central to the rational design of intervention strategies to reduce the reservoir of disease and the refinement of risk analyses of flock infection. (Joint with BB/C500852/1)

Institute for Animal Health
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