November 28, 2005
Ann Bagel
Bacteriocins — proteins produced by bacteria — can reduce campylobacter in chicken intestines to nearly undetectable levels, according to a study published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service.
The research was led by microbiologist Norman Stern of the USDA Agricultural Research Center in Athens, Ga., and Edward Svetoch of the Russian Federation State Research Center for Applied Microbiology in Obolensk.
Tens of thousands of bacterial isolates from poultry production environments were evaluated in the study. Several were found to have anti-campylobacter activity — namely Bacillus circulans and Paenibacillus ploymyxa.

Stern has received a patent on the uses for bacteriocins, and he and his colleagues have enhanced bacteriocin production so that it is more attractive for industrial testing.
The study, which is ongoing, is being funded and coordinated by the U.S. Department of State, the International Science and Technology Center and the ARS Office of International Research Programs.