lunes, 8 de abril de 2013

Campylobacter jejuni is smarter than we thought.

C. jejuni is able to alter its swimming behavior inside human body.

 IFR research scientist Mark Reuter said the research had shown campylobacter to be very intelligent and able to move towards environments in which it knows it can survive.

The pathogen is smarter than we thought, and cannot be underestimated. It has the ability to recognize its environment and modify its movement in response to move to where it wants to be, It will also change its behavior and swim away from things it proven dangerous.

Campylobacter balances information it receives either to seek locations that provide it with more nutrition, or to find places where respiration is more efficient. The desire to feed, however, is the biggest driver for campylobacter, the research found.

Undercooked poultry:  When people get infected, the bacteria need to find their way from the source of contamination, usually undercooked poultry, to the cells lining the gut. In the process, campylobacter must find enough food to sustain it as well as a hospitable environment in which to multiply. Unlike other food poisoning pathogens, such as E. coli or Salmonella, campylobacter have a whole range of ways of detecting different chemicals in their immediate environment, and can alter the way they move through the body.
Foodborne pathogens: Campylobacter has the ability to sense if the host body is hungry and will move towards the gut in preparation for new food on which to latch. Chicken is responsible for 60–80% of cases of the infection campylobacteriosis in the UK. Campylobacter jejuni is the major cause of food poisoning in the UK, with over 371,000 incidents a year. It is a top priority for the Food Standards Agency (FSA), which aims to reduce cases by 10% by 2015.

The new research from the IFR was welcomed by the FSA. A spokesman said it would help to improve the understanding of campylobacter in the food chain and how it might be controlled. This is important in informing the FSA’s strategy, which is currently focused on reducing the contamination of poultry carcasses with Campylobacter.

A 10% reduction is possible because other countries have done it. This research gives a new personality to the pathogen, and needs to be taken on board by the industry. Manufacturers should look at what they can do to prevent the spread of campylobacter, not just look to scientists for a magic bullet against Campylobacter jejuni.

Source: Institute of Food research:

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