Main intestinal disease bacteria to be sequenced

Main intestinal disease bacteria to be sequenced
Scientists in the Centre for Genomic Research will decode and analyse the 510 archived isolates of Campylobacter from earlier collections of human faeces

The University of Liverpool is to decipher the genomes of the UK's main bacterial cause of food poisoning which results in over 21,000 hospital admissions and 100 deaths each year.

Using the latest whole genome sequencing technologies available at the University's Centre for Genomic Research, scientists will decode and analyse the 510 archived isolates of Campylobacter from earlier collections of human faeces.

Campylobacter

Campylobacter is widely recognised as the main bacterial cause of foodborne infections leading to diarrhoea, and in 2010 was responsible for an estimated 21,300 and 100 deaths in the UK, at a cost of approximately £784 million.

The new project is funded by the Food Standards Agency and, when it concludes in February 2015, scientists will have a greater understanding of sources and transmission routes associated with human Campylobacter. The Agency will then be able to use these results to directly benefit the public health benefits.

The bacterial isolates used in this study were obtained from faecal samples from thousands of people with symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting during two separate time periods (1993-1996 and 2008-2009).

The research will give scientists key information about the make-up of the UK Campylobacter population and will also link to other research at the University examining Campylobacter found in poultry and the general environment.

Prevention

Professor of microbiology, Craig Winstanley, from the University's Institute of Infection and Global Health is leading the project. He said: "Campylobacter causes misery for thousands of people in the UK every year. The research will give us a much better idea of precisely how the bacteria get into humans and how this might be prevented.

"Working with the Food Standards Agency means that this work can then be turned into concrete public benefits."

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Vaccinating chickens could prevent food-borne illness

Mar 26, 2012

A vaccine could be developed to prevent Campylobacter being carried in chickens. This approach could drastically cut the number of cases of food poisoning, saving the UK economy millions each year, says an American scient ...

Phagevet-P: Applying viruses to treat bacterial diseases

Sep 20, 2012

The quest for enhanced food safety has driven research into novel treatments for bacterial diseases in livestock. A European consortium proposed the use of bacteriophages (bacteria-targeting viruses) to treat ...

Recommended for you

Restrictions lifted at British bird flu farm

Dec 21, 2014

Britain on Sunday lifted all restrictions at a duck farm in northern England after last month's outbreak of H5N8 bird flu, the same strain seen in recent cases across Europe.

Recorded Ebola deaths top 7,000

Dec 20, 2014

The worst Ebola outbreak on record has now killed more than 7,000 people, with many of the latest deaths reported in Sierra Leone, the World Health Organization said as United Nations Secretary-General Ban ...

Liberia holds Senate vote amid Ebola fears (Update)

Dec 20, 2014

Health workers manned polling stations across Liberia on Saturday as voters cast their ballots in a twice-delayed Senate election that has been criticized for its potential to spread the deadly Ebola disease.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.