<p>The main objectives are to:<BR> <ul>
<li>Establish well-defined non-culturable populations of VTEC
<li>Determine the capacity of cells within these populations to express ?ÃƒÂ¼-galactosidase (lacZ) in response to exogenous stimuli
<li>Study the production of verotoxins (VT) by non-culturable populations of VTEC
<li>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
<li>Use the reporter-fusions to study VT production in specialised environments including food and faecal microcosms
<li>Study the effects of external influences such as heat-stress and antibiotics on VT production in non-culturable cells.</li></ul>
This project will study environmental factors that influence the production of verotoxin (VT) by VTEC. <p>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.
<p>New methodologies for the detection and evaluation of non-culturable VTEC cells will be the main objective of this project.
<P>Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the <a href="http://www.food.gov.uk/science/research/" target="_blank">Food Standards Agency Research webpage</a>.