Screening interventions targeting Campylobacter in a new chicken gut model system at Københavns Universitet

Introduction: Campylobacter jejuni is the major cause of food-borne bacterial diarrhea worldwide and the main reservoir associated with human disease is broiler chickens. C. jejuni is highly adapted and can colonize a specific niche in the chicken gut to very high numbers without causing disease in the birds. We are currently developing a chicken gut-model system allowing us to study different interventions targeting C. jejuni in the chicken reservoir such as the use of bacteriophages which are bacterial viruses that kill bacteria.

Aim: Test and evaluate bacteriophage-based products targeting C. jejuni in the chicken gut using a newly developed chicken gut model system.

Your work: You will test and evaluate bacterial reductions after the addition of a bacteriophage-based product targeting C. jejuni in our newly developed chicken gut model system. You will assess sensitivity of individual C. jejuni isolates towards the bacteriophage-based product in vitro and use whole genome sequencing to identify genetic features that may be associated with sensitivity or resistance towards the bacteriophage-based product. You will also work on optimizing the gut model system for other types of experiments. The project is a collaboration with ISI Food Protection in Aarhus and involves a stay there to learn and work with the chicken gut model system. Furthermore, you will learn how to work with pathogenic bacteria and get GMOII lab experience as well as be working in international research labs.

Methods: C. jejuni and bacteriophage experiments, work with and assist in further developing a new chicken gut system, DNA isolation, whole genome sequencing, genome sequence analyses, etc.

Promoter and tutor in the lab: at KU: Assistant professor Martine Camilla Holst Sørensen; at ISI Food Protection: Anne Elsser-Gravesen, Erik

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