They are engaging in a major research project to develop methods for the control of Campylobacter — the commonest cause of infectious bacterial intestinal disease in England and Wales, according to the Health Protection Agency. Campylobacters are found in poultry and other animals and cause millions of cases of food poisoning worldwide.
The researchers intend to develop bacteriophage-based treatments for the control of Campylobacter.
Bacteriophages — the term literally means ‘bacterium-eater’ — are naturally occurring agents that target and destroy bacteria with a high degree of efficiency, and do so selectively and specifically, without affecting beneficial bacteria or gut cells. The term is commonly used in its shortened form, phage.
Both GangaGen and The University of Nottingham are leaders in bacteriophage research and view the technology as a vital breakthrough in the control of bacterial contamination and associated health risks. The research agreement, announced today [May 22], will mean they pool their resources for at least three years to develop new treatments.
Ian Connerton, Northern Foods Professor of Food Safety at The University of Nottingham, said: “We are excited to be working with a company like GangaGen that is at the forefront of phage technology development.
“Our team’s research has demonstrated that certain phages specific for Campylobacter can significantly reduce the load of the bacteria carried by poultry. By implication, this should also reduce the risk to consumers by decreasing bacterial contamination of meat that is prevalent in poultry processing and is transferred to chicken meat on grocery shelves.”
GangaGen and The University of Nottingham are building a business relationship to commercialise phage technology which has been developed at the University to complement the existing phage expertise of GangaGen. This is part of the University's programme to transfer technology from academia into the commercial world.
Campylobacter infection is typically characterised by severe diarrhoea and abdominal pain, stomach cramps, fever and vomiting. Undercooked meat, particularly poultry, is often associated with the illness, and it is impossible to tell from its appearance whether it is contaminated — as it looks, tastes and smells normal.
GangaGen is a developer of therapeutics based on phage technology for the control of disease-causing bacteria. The company is developing a portfolio of products for the effective treatment of infectious disease in human and animal health. Its animal health program includes innovations for the control of food-safety hazards associated with the transfer of pathogenic bacteria from animal production to consumers.
The work on a phage product for the control of Campylobacter will complement GangaGen’s food safety product portfolio, which also includes phage products against Salmonella and E. coli O157:H7.
Dr Rainer Engelhardt, Chief Executive of GangaGen Life Sciences Inc, said: “GangaGen believes that the place to start fighting food safety-related bacteria is at the farm where livestock production takes place, and this research agreement with The University of Nottingham allows us to continue building on that belief.
“The food industry and its regulators have stated that they believe that timely intervention is needed at the farm level to supplement the extensive, but not fully effective, controls already in place in food processing. GangaGen has demonstrated in production animal trials that we can isolate and use phages with full regard for safety, and that are benign to animals, humans and the environment.
“This research agreement is of great importance to the health market in general. The combination of these two research teams provides strong impetus for creating a safe, effective and low-cost solution to this pernicious consumer health risk.”
Food-safety authorities in Europe and in North America recently released data showing that the contamination hazard due to Campylobacter remains high, and may be increasing because the pathogen has also started to demonstrate resistance to several common antibiotics.
Emma Thorne | alfa
3D images of cancer cells in the body: Medical physicists from Halle present new method
16.05.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Better equipped in the fight against lung cancer
16.05.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.
The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...
Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.
Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...
A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.
Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
18.05.2018 | Information Technology
18.05.2018 | Information Technology