Understanding how mutability facilitates survival of alternating selection and bottlenecks by the major food-borne pathogen Campylobacter jejuni

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leicester
Department Name: Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour


Campylobacter jejuni is a major food-borne cause of gastroenteritis. A commensal organism in the gastrointestinal tract of birds it is subject to numerous rapid oscillating selection pressures through transmission bottlenecks, both between birds and to humans through the contamination of meat products. The ability of C. jejuni to avoid the influence of these bottlenecks and survive to cause the inflammatory response in the human gut mucosa highlights the key adaptive response of local hypermutable tracts to avoid both survival of stringent selective and non-selective bottlenecks. This project will combine both computational modelling and experimental data to examine the effect of mutability of hypermutable repeat tracts and the survival of C. jejuni. Through the use of novel high throughput cyclic assays to assess phase variable switching to inform computation modelling of how local hypermutability contributes to the survival of C. jejuni across transmission barriers.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M01116X/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2023
2265119 Studentship BB/M01116X/1 30/09/2019 29/09/2023 Jonathan Holmes