Development of a molecular-based risk assessment assay for human pathogenic Campylobacter jejuni

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Buchanan, Cody J.
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : Universtiy of Lethbridge, Department of Biological Sciences
Despite the fact that C. jejuni is a leading cause of bacterial enteritis in Canada, there is no diagnostic assay available to identify high-risk strains. This represents a significant challenge towards the prevention and control of campylobacteriosis. Additionally, molecular epidemiological studies have shown that not all C. jejuni strains or lineages appear to pose an equal risk to human health, and the factors underlying this subtype-dependent pathogenesis are not understood. A Genome-Wide Association Study was conducted to identify genetic markers associated with C. jejuni strains linked to human illness. These markers were implemented in a molecular-based risk assessment assay, and used to screen isolates collected as part of a national microbial survey of Canadian poultry products. This study suggests that strains with a diverse metabolic toolkit may pose an elevated risk by virtue of their ability to overcome ecological barriers that might otherwise mitigate exposure to humans.
Campylobacter jejuni -- Research , Campylobacter infections -- Epidemiology , Bacterial genetics , Bacterial genomes , Pathogenic bacteria , Foodborne diseases -- Microbiology , Diagnostic bacteriology , Dissertations, Academic , diagnostic assay , gastrointestinal illness causing pathogens , high-risk strain identification , human campylobacteriosis , whole genome typing