Dynamics of colonisation of chickens by Campylobacter jejuni

Lead Research Organisation: The Pirbright Institute
Department Name: UNLISTED


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 using other bacteria to out compete the Campylobacter, or competitive exclusion, have little effect on flock contamination. Our preliminary studies, carried out with individually-tagged mutants, have shown that the process of colonisation is not as efficient or as simple as has been assumed, and has suggested that there are specific choke points for colonisation. Preliminary data suggest a range of selective processes which may be occurring during infection. The understanding of the process of colonisation is essential for the rational design of intervention strategies to reduce this reservoir of disease and the refinement of risk analyses of flock infection.


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