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Microbiology. 2010 Jul;156(Pt 7):2046-57. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.035717-0. Epub 2010 Apr 1.

Genetic diversity in Campylobacter jejuni is associated with differential colonization of broiler chickens and C57BL/6J IL10-deficient mice.

Author information

1
National Food Safety and Toxicology Center, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48823, USA.

Abstract

Previous studies have demonstrated that Campylobacter jejuni, the leading causative agent of bacterial food-borne disease in the USA, exhibits high-frequency genetic variation that is associated with changes in cell-surface antigens and ability to colonize chickens. To expand our understanding of the role of genetic diversity in the disease process, we analysed the ability of three C. jejuni human disease isolates (strains 11168, 33292 and 81-176) and genetically marked derivatives to colonize Ross 308 broilers and C57BL/6J IL10-deficient mice. C. jejuni colonized broilers at much higher efficiency (all three strains, 23 of 24 broilers) than mice (11168 only, 8 of 24 mice). C. jejuni 11168 genetically marked strains colonized mice at very low efficiency (2 of 42 mice); however, C. jejuni reisolated from mice colonized both mice and broilers at high efficiency, suggesting that this pathogen can adapt genetically in the mouse. We compared the genome composition in the three wild-type C. jejuni strains and derivatives by microarray DNA/DNA hybridization analysis; the data demonstrated a high degree of genetic diversity in three gene clusters associated with synthesis and modification of the cell-surface structures capsule, flagella and lipo-oligosaccharide. Finally, we analysed the frequency of mutation in homopolymeric tracts associated with the contingency genes wlaN (GC tract) and flgR (AT tracts) in culture and after passage through broilers and mice. C. jejuni adapted genetically in culture at high frequency and the degree of genetic diversity was increased by passage through broilers but was nearly eliminated in the gastrointestinal tract of mice. The data suggest that the broiler gastrointestinal tract provides an environment which promotes outgrowth and genetic variation in C. jejuni; the enhancement of genetic diversity at this location may contribute to its importance as a human disease reservoir.

PMID:
20360176
PMCID:
PMC3068676
DOI:
10.1099/mic.0.035717-0
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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