Campylobacter jejuni is a pathogen found in chickens and is the nation’s leading cause of foodborne bacterial diarrhea, so poultry producers look for ways to control it before the birds go to processing. The good news is that the bacterium is susceptible to stress and is vulnerable. So what keeps it going?
Here’s one way: the bug latches onto other colonies of bacteria – biofilms – and uses them as places to thrive in ways the Campylobacter jejuni would be less likely to do on their own.
“The capture of C. jejuni could be correlated to the amount of biofilm present,” said Irene Hanning, a post-doctoral associate in food science at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture who investigated the issue for the Food Safety Consortium. “This makes control of all biofilms critical because the communities have a strong potential to capture high levels of C. jejuni.”
First, it’s important to consider how biofilms work. Many bacteria have an ability to form a biofilm, which Hanning described as an assemblage of bacteria encased in a sticky substance. Biofilms are complex structures that adhere to surfaces and consist of colonies of bacteria.
Being in a biofilm is an advantage to bacteria. The biofilm provides protection from antibiotics and other threats to bacteria’s existence. C. jejuni has had a major disadvantage in that unlike many other bacteria, it doesn’t do well at making its own biofilm. So it may have found the next best thing to do: it moves into biofilms that are already protecting other bacteria. C. jejuni becomes a secondary colonizer.
The host colonizers can be any of several bacteria, but C. jejuni’s most prevalent host turns out to be Pseudomonas, which also serve as the main spoilage bacteria on chicken carcasses and are excellent biofilm formers, Hanning said.
Hanning looked at the ability of C. jejuni to survive from biofilm populations isolated from four places: a drinking unit in a chicken growout house, a drain under a plucker in a processing plant, a retail chicken carcass and a crate used to haul live chickens. No C. jejuni was found on the growth surfaces outside of biofilms that had already been established. The biofilms were cultured under three different temperatures that showed varying levels of ability to harbor C. jejuni.
“These experiments indicated that C. jejuni can be captured and harbored by a biofilm regardless of the bacterial constituents,” Hanning said. “Therefore most biofilms should be considered as having the potential to promote and harbor C. jejuni.”
Irene Hanning, University of Arkansas, 479-575-4206 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Dave Edmark | Newswise Science News
Cryo-electron microscopy achieves unprecedented resolution using new computational methods
24.03.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
How cheetahs stay fit and healthy
24.03.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy