Understanding and exploiting the unique sensitivity of Campylobacter to violet-blue light: An oxidative Achilles heel?

Lead Research Organisation: University of Sheffield
Department Name: Molecular Biology and Biotechnology


Campylobacter jejuni is the most common cause of food-borne gastroenteritis in
the western world. Human infections result from consumption of contaminated
chicken and the incidence has increased in recent years. New interventions are
needed to reduce the numbers of bacteria in the food-chain. UV-light is well
known as germicidal but is highly mutagenic and problematic for continuous
exposure in production facilities. C. jejuni is, however, uniquely sensitive to
narrow spectrum visible blue light which is safe-in-use compared to UV. This
project seeks to understand the molecular basis for this sensitivity. C. jejuni is a
microaerophilic bacterium and we will test hypotheses for light-induced
production of reactive oxygen species that may target specifically vulnerable
enzymes, using a range of biochemical, gene and protein expression assays.
This interdisciplinary project will provide training in molecular microbiological
techniques including mutant construction and global gene expression analysis,
as well as the application of photochemical techniques to a biological problem.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M011151/1 30/09/2015 29/09/2023
1800766 Studentship BB/M011151/1 30/09/2016 29/09/2020 Peter Walker