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Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Targeting Campylobacter adhesion in the fight against antimicrobial resistance

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
4.02.00  Biotechnical sciences  Animal production   

Code Science Field
B230  Biomedical sciences  Microbiology, bacteriology, virology, mycology 

Code Science Field
4.02  Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences  Animal and Dairy science 
Keywords
Campylobacter adhesion, PCR-based quantification, target molecular mechanisms in adhered cells, alternative control strategies
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (17)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  24257  PhD Aleš Berlec  Pharmacy  Researcher  2018 - 2022  218 
2.  18511  PhD Polona Jamnik  Biotechnology  Researcher  2018 - 2022  904 
3.  33406  PhD Nikolaja Janež  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2019 - 2022  84 
4.  11548  PhD Barbka Jeršek  Animal production  Researcher  2018 - 2022  419 
5.  54963  Blaž Jug  Biotechnology  Researcher  2020 - 2022  31 
6.  51861  PhD Dina Jug  Biotechnology  Junior researcher  2020 - 2022  58 
7.  22491  PhD Anja Klančnik  Animal production  Head  2018 - 2022  385 
8.  07632  PhD Minka Kovač  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2018 - 2022  111 
9.  36596  PhD Milica Perišić Nanut  Biotechnical sciences  Researcher  2018 - 2022  143 
10.  23576  PhD Jerica Sabotič  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2018 - 2022  318 
11.  51713  PhD Emanuela Senjor  Biotechnology  Junior researcher  2019 - 2022  51 
12.  07030  PhD Sonja Smole - Možina  Animal production  Researcher  2018 - 2022  1,104 
13.  39997  PhD Meta Sterniša  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2018 - 2022  130 
14.  38987  PhD Katarina Šimunović  Biotechnology  Researcher  2018 - 2019  104 
15.  22582  PhD Nataša Toplak  Biotechnology  Researcher  2018 - 2022  169 
16.  09864  PhD Magda Tušek Žnidarič  Biology  Technical associate  2018 - 2022  414 
17.  52659  Manca Volk  Animal production  Junior researcher  2020 - 2022  18 
Organisations (4)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0105  National Institute of Biology  Ljubljana  5055784  13,239 
2.  0106  Jožef Stefan Institute  Ljubljana  5051606000  90,600 
3.  0481  University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty  Ljubljana  1626914  66,215 
4.  1775  OMEGA svetovanje, inženiring, razvoj in raziskovanje d.o.o. (Slovene)  Ljubljana  5808642  294 
Abstract
The consumers wish to, and have the right to, buy only food products of high quality. One of the critical points for this is microbiological safety along the food production and supply chain. Campylobacter spp. cause food-borne illnesses worldwide due to contaminated food and cross-contamination. This is at least partly the consequence of Campylobacter resistance during the food-production chain, as modern food production facilitates emergence and spread of resistance through intensive use of antimicrobial agents and international trade in raw materials and food products. In addition, the incidence and prevalence of campylobacteriosis is still increasing, which is mainly associated with consumption of undercooked poultry meat products, and with outbreaks arising from contaminated water. The biofilm ‘lifestyle’ of Campylobacter is a contributing factor to this prevalence, which enables them to withstand stress in the environment both outside and within the host. Campylobacter adhesion and biofilm formation has major implications in the food industry, where biofilms can create persistent sources of contamination while conferring survival benefits to Campylobacter through industrial processes and transmission to the next host. Novel strategies are needed to reduce bacterial contamination and to control Campylobacter in foods. In his project we will use Campylobacter as our model to develop novel strategies to combat contamination and infection, through targeting the mechanisms of action that are not sensitive to the ever-increasing repertoire of bacterial resistance mechanisms. The proposed project specifically addresses the issue of understanding the mechanisms by which Campylobacter adhere to surfaces, which is crucial for the application of novel antimicrobial strategies To quantify the adhesion of Campylobacter, we will use precise and specific digital PCR-based methods as novel approaches for adhesion assays and biofilm research. Accurate quantification of Campylobacter cells that adhere to or form biofilms can use dPCR to quantify the DNA used for standard curves and qPCR to quantify the cells adhered to microtitre plates. First, the project will investigate the basic cellular mechanisms of Campylobacter adhesion by using defined mutant strains and potential target molecules in the extracellular matrix. The precise molecular mechanisms involved in the multifactorial event of adhesion have not been adequately investigated to date. Next-generation RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) of adhered Campylobacter will be used to evaluate the expression of genetic information during Campylobacter adhesion. We will carry out proteomic analysis on mRNA transcripts and at the protein level to determine and correlate the mechanisms involved in adhesion. Our data will allow us to explain one of the most important characteristics of bacteria, their adhesion, as one of the main factors in bacterial pathogenesis. These data will enable the development of new strategies for prevention of the bacterial adhesion and invasion that arises from formation of biofilms by pathogenic bacteria in the food production and supply chain, and in the human and animal intestines. We will highlight the molecular targets involved here, and thereby provide new strategies to inhibit contamination and infection by food-borne pathogenic Campylobacter. The project will provide an understanding of the mechanisms of bacterial adhesion, survival and virulence that are crucial for quantitative risk assessment for safe food production. Our findings will help to define the appropriate handling, preparation and storage of food, and reduce deficiencies in knowledge of the microbiological risk. Consequently, this will contribute to reduced incidence of food-borne diseases, and the associated high costs that arise as a result of consumption of contaminated foods, and thus this study will contribute to improvements in human and animal health.
Significance for science
The project is prepared with respect of the priorities of the of the national research program of the Republic of Slovenia, Slovenian Technological Platform and exposed topics in current ARRS call as wells as in Horizon2020 calls for research project proposals. It brings interdisciplinary approach and targets one of the most urgent problems of current society – the increasing antimicrobial resistance including food supply chain. This project brings a challenge to do it for most frequent and increasingly multidrug resistant bacterial pathogen - Campylobacter jejuni. Their adhesion contributes to their increased survival and biofilm formation. By preventing C. jejuni adhesion, infections in their early stages can be limited, thus reducing the use of antibiotics. High antibiotic use represents high risk for development of bacterial resistance, is often ineffective for treatment of bacterial infections, and can have adverse effects on the host microbiome. These data of the mechanisms of adhesion of food-borne pathogen Campylobacter will significantly contribute to the development of biotechnologies and the medicinal sciences. In the biotechnologies field, these data will highlight the problems of Campylobacter adhesion to the surface of the contact materials that are found throughout the food-production chain. In the food production, veterinary medicine and animal production and processing sectors, the new knowledge will be useful for the development of appropriate hygiene measures in slaughterhouses, throughout the food-production chain, and during food distribution. Understanding adhesion is crucial for further applications of alternative strategies to reduce or prevent bacterial adhesion, and to reduce bacterial contamination and bacterial resistance in the food-production chain and in food products. These data will complete the missing knowledge about the basic mechanisms of Campylobacter adhesion. In food production, veterinary medicine and animal production and processing sectors this new knowledge will also highlight the problem of bacterial survival inside protozoa in environmental water, and the bacterial transfer from environmental conditions to the slaughterhouse, and into the food-production chain, or directly through environmental water to the human host. In the medicinal sciences there is the need to understand Campylobacter interactions and mechanisms of adhesion, survival and virulence, as these are crucial for host–pathogen interactions, and thus for Campylobacter pathogenicity. The knowledge obtained will promote quantitative microbial risk assessments in the food-production chain, and thereby limit the costs of various diseases. Different aspects will allow evaluation of the impact of bacterial adhesion in the food-production chain. A holistic approach will provide a basis for innovative strategies to design alternative strategies for the production and distribution of safe food.
Significance for the country
The project is prepared with respect of the priorities of the of the national research program of the Republic of Slovenia, Slovenian Technological Platform and exposed topics in current ARRS call as wells as in Horizon2020 calls for research project proposals. It brings interdisciplinary approach and targets one of the most urgent problems of current society – the increasing antimicrobial resistance including food supply chain. This project brings a challenge to do it for most frequent and increasingly multidrug resistant bacterial pathogen - Campylobacter jejuni. Their adhesion contributes to their increased survival and biofilm formation. By preventing C. jejuni adhesion, infections in their early stages can be limited, thus reducing the use of antibiotics. High antibiotic use represents high risk for development of bacterial resistance, is often ineffective for treatment of bacterial infections, and can have adverse effects on the host microbiome. These data of the mechanisms of adhesion of food-borne pathogen Campylobacter will significantly contribute to the development of biotechnologies and the medicinal sciences. In the biotechnologies field, these data will highlight the problems of Campylobacter adhesion to the surface of the contact materials that are found throughout the food-production chain. In the food production, veterinary medicine and animal production and processing sectors, the new knowledge will be useful for the development of appropriate hygiene measures in slaughterhouses, throughout the food-production chain, and during food distribution. Understanding adhesion is crucial for further applications of alternative strategies to reduce or prevent bacterial adhesion, and to reduce bacterial contamination and bacterial resistance in the food-production chain and in food products. These data will complete the missing knowledge about the basic mechanisms of Campylobacter adhesion. In food production, veterinary medicine and animal production and processing sectors this new knowledge will also highlight the problem of bacterial survival inside protozoa in environmental water, and the bacterial transfer from environmental conditions to the slaughterhouse, and into the food-production chain, or directly through environmental water to the human host. In the medicinal sciences there is the need to understand Campylobacter interactions and mechanisms of adhesion, survival and virulence, as these are crucial for host–pathogen interactions, and thus for Campylobacter pathogenicity. The knowledge obtained will promote quantitative microbial risk assessments in the food-production chain, and thereby limit the costs of various diseases. Different aspects will allow evaluation of the impact of bacterial adhesion in the food-production chain. A holistic approach will provide a basis for innovative strategies to design alternative strategies for the production and distribution of safe food.
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