Comparative Phenotypic and Transcriptional Differences of Campylobacter jejuni When Challenged with Low Molecular Weight Chitosan

  • James Woolford

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    Campylobacter jejuni is a prominent food-borne pathogen and causative agent of Campylobacteriosis infection. This infection arises primarily from the consumption of foodstuffs/beverages previously contaminated with this microorganism. Despite current food control measures currently employed, this pathogen remains problematic despite its fastidious nature. To help control the spread of Campylobacter many hurdles are used in the food industry, including natural products such as modified atmosphere and salt. Other natural antimicrobials are shown to possess antibacterial activity. Chitosan, a natural antimicrobial, has promising uses in food production. However, little is known about the transcriptional differences of C. jejuni upon chitosan exposure. Molecular responses may allow for generation of adaptive responses in an attempt to combat such a stressor, possibly altering phenotypic and virulence potential. The aims of this study were to establish the adaptive response of C. jejuni to low molecular weight chitosan by assessing the phenotypic and molecular differences arising from the chitosan challenge. By exposing C. jejuni NTCT11168 to suboptimal levels of chitosan, based on MIC determination on a model system, an adaptive strain of C. jejuni has been developed. This newly developed isolate, referred to as the ‘adapted’ C. jejuni NCTC11168 was found to have enhanced antimicrobial tolerance to chitosan, with a 3.83 fold increase in MIC relative to the parental wild-type C. jejuni NCTC11168 cells (0.012% - 0.046% (w/v) respectively). Antimicrobial activity of chitosan was found to be pH dependant. Differences in motility were also apparent between the ‘adapted’ and wild-type strains. Consistent increases in motility were noted in the ‘adapted’ cells, especially in relation to wild-type after 24, 48 and 72 hours (p
    Date of Award2015
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Northampton
    SupervisorC Phillips (Supervisor) & S Allen (Supervisor)

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