The University of Vermont College of Medicine has been chosen as the single participating academic medical center in the nation to collaborate with the Navy Medical Research Center (NMRC) and Denmark-based ACE BioSciences in the development and evaluation of a new vaccine against one of the most common food-borne bacteria, Campylobacter. The first study in this multi-part collaboration is a new clinical trial designed to define the illness caused by this bacterium in healthy volunteers. Information from this work will be used to confirm the effectiveness of a new Campylobacter vaccine.

This Campylobacter research initiative is timely in the face of recent food-borne outbreaks due to similar bacteria, such as salmonella and E. coli. Campylobacter infections account for more than two million cases of food-borne illness and up to 100 deaths in the United States each year, as well as $1.5 to 1.8 billion in lost productivity. Infections from Campylobacter, usually occurring after consumption of inadequately cooked chicken, are frequently the most common cause of food-borne disease in the U.S. This species of bacteria also have a high degree of antibiotic resistance, which has increased the importance of vaccine development to prevent this infection. In the U.S., infections with Campylobacter are most common in young children, travelers, and military personnel, but infection is also extremely common in less developed nations.

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KARACHI: A surveillance study was carried out to determine the prevalence of Campylobacter in meat, milk and other food commodities in Pakistan. Over a period of 3 years (January 2002-December 2004), a total of 1,636 food samples of meat, milk and other food commodities were procured from three big cities of Pakistan (Faisalabad, Lahore and Islamabad) and were analysed.

The study appeared in the journal Food Microbiology and was conducted by experts at the University of Agriculture, Faislabad.

Among meat samples, the highest prevalence (48 percent) of Campylobacter was recorded in raw chicken meat followed by raw beef (10.9 percent) and raw mutton (5.1 percent). Among other food commodities, the highest prevalence was observed in vegetable/fruit salads (40.9 percent), sandwiches (32 percent), cheese (11 percent) and raw bulk milk samples (10.2 percent). The overall prevalence of Campylobacter was found to be 21.5 percent, out of which 70.6 percent were identi?ed as Campylobacter (C.) jejuni and 29.4 percent as C. coli. The study reported that the prevalence of Campylobacter spp. was signi?cantly higher in food commodities which included raw/undercooked ingredients.

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Yale researchers now have some answers about how the bacterium that is the leading cause of food-borne illness in the United States enters cells of the gut and avoids detection and destruction, according to a presentation at the annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology in San Diego in December.

While scientists are just beginning to answer basic questions about how Campylobacter jejuni (campylobacter) causes infection, Robert Watson, a graduate student in the Section of Microbial Pathogenesis at Yale University School of Medicine worked out a better way to study the bacteria and reported that it takes an uncommon path as it infects cells.

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A graduate student at Yale University has uncovered the answer to how Campylobacter jejuni is able to penetrate intestinal epithelial cells. This research was highlighted in a recent press release:

Yale researchers now have some answers about how the bacterium that is the leading cause of food-borne illness in the United States enters cells of the gut and avoids detection and destruction, according to a presentation at the annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology in San Diego in December.

While scientists are just beginning to answer basic questions about how Campylobacter jejuni ( campylobacter ) causes infection, Robert Watson, a graduate student in the Section of Microbial Pathogenesis at Yale University School of Medicine worked out a better way to study the bacteria and reported that it takes an uncommon path as it infects cells.

May 5, 2006
University of Arkansas, Food Safety Consortium via Newswise
Scientists who look for ways to eliminate foodborne pathogens are up against another obstacle: those pathogens that resist antibiotics. In particular, they want to single out the resistant bacteria for special attention and get rid of them.
That’s the focus occupying Ramakrishna Nannapaneni, a Food Safety Consortium researcher in the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture food science department working with Michael Johnson. His team is trying to quantify Campylobacter, a pathogen that contaminates nearly all retail raw broiler chicken carcasses, and its emerging ability to resist an important fluoroquinolone antibiotic known as ciprofloxacin.
Surveys have shown that broilers frequently carry large numbers of Campylobacter in their intestinal contents that spread during further processing onto retail raw products. Campylobacter also can occur in raw milk and water and on raw fruits and vegetables. Proper cooking recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture will completely kill Campylobacter present on raw poultry.

Continue Reading Zooming in on the Campylobacter that would resist antibiotics

By Los Angeles Times
Tuesday, May 2, 2006 10:44 AM EDT
Avoiding the use of antibiotics in food animals appears to reduce drug resistance in humans, according to a study published online recently in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.
The study involved the use of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones in Australian poultry.
Australia restricts use of the antibiotics in animal husbandry because the practice is thought to contribute to drug resistance in people who contract bacterial infections from eating contaminated food.

Continue Reading Study: Antibiotics in food cause drug resistance in us

28/04/2006 17:08:00
Poultry World
Are happy chickens safe chickens? One researcher believes so, outlining a possible role of bird stress on the number of campylobacter positive flocks.
Speaking at the recent 2006 World Poultry Science Association meeting in York, Tom Humphrey of the University of Bristol revealed new results that show the incidence of campylobacter had fallen from 76% in 1993 to 20% in 2005.
Prof Humphrey believes this reduction is mainly through attention to detail and improved biosecurity, but many questions remain, including why does it peak in summer?
The reason for the peak is unclear and Prof Humphrey questioned whether it was due to stress of higher temperatures or greater airflow bringing more infected flies into the shed.
He then outlined evidence that increased stress gives the pathogen a helping hand in infecting the bird, including Irish research showing a six-fold increase in campylobacter in chickens after transport to the abattoir.
For the full article, see the new relaunched Poultry World.
Author: Richard Allison

April 26, 2006
Washington Post
Bonnie S. Benwick
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which for decades had recommended that poultry be cooked to an internal temperature of 180 degrees for safe eating, has reevaluated that assessment.
Earlier this month, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service established 165 degrees as the single safe minimum internal temperature to kill food-borne pathogens and viruses in poultry.
The months of commissioned study and testing by the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods were not prompted by reports of overcooked white meat but by reported outbreaks of Salmonella bacteria that were traced to partially cooked, frozen poultry products.

Continue Reading The roasted bird gets a temperature reprieve

Wed 19 Apr 2006 05:39 PM CST
VIRGINIA (myDNA News)
Australia’s policy of restricting antibiotic use in food-producing animals may be linked with lower levels of drug-resistant bacteria found in its citizens, according to an article in the May 15 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, now available online.
Campylobacter jejuni (C. jejuni) is a leading bacterial cause of foodborne illness in industrialized countries. Drug resistance can make Campylobacter infections difficult for physicians to treat, and can result in longer bouts of diarrhea and a higher risk of serious or even fatal illness. Bacterial resistance to drugs is generally attributed to inappropriate prescribing or overuse of antibiotics.

Continue Reading Benefits from limiting animal antibiotics