Development of molecular tools to assess whether Arcobacter butzleri is an enteric pathogen of human beings

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Webb, Andrew L.
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Biological Sciences
The pathogenicity of Arcobacter butzleri remains enigmatic, in part due to a lack of genomic data and tools for comprehensive detection and genotyping of this bacterium. Comparative whole genome sequence analysis was employed to develop a high throughput and high resolution subtyping method representative of whole genome phylogeny. In addition, primers targeting a taxon-specific gene (quinohemoprotein amine dehydrogenase) were designed to detect and quantitate A. butzleri. The application of these methods showed that A. butzleri is present at high frequencies but low densities in diarrheic and healthy people, and specific strains are associated with human enteritis. The developed tools were also used to determine that A. butzleri is common in wastewater, survives tertiary wastewater treatment, and may be transmitted to people via ingestion of contaminated surface water. Diverse subtypes of A. butzleri occur in the environment, but pathogenicity is likely strain-specific and/or dependent on other factors such as host resistance.
Arcobacter butzleri , waterborne pathogen , enteric disease