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EMIDA - Campylobacter in chicken production: survival, virulence and control - OZ0626

The project addresses EMIDA programme 'C1: Control strategies for Campylobacter in poultry' Our aim is to develop science-led interventions to reduce consumer exposure to Campylobacter. The project will have partners in the EU poultry industry and other stakeholders. We will identify intervention
strategies on-farm and during processing to control contamination and will provide knowledge on population, transmission, and infection biology of Campylobacter. The consortium comprises groups in the UK, Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Lithuania, Thailand and Viet Nam. The Thai and
Vietnamese governments will fund their work directly and through related food safety poultry projects.

Our studies will address:
- Molecular epidemiology and surveillance tools
- Survival and propagation in the chicken production chain from 'farm to fork'
- Virulence mechanisms and host-pathogen interactions
- Modelling transmission within flocks and risk progression along the production chain
- Intervention based on enhanced biosecurity and improved host resistance

Our focus is on housed broilers and we will:

- Investigate the Campylobacter pathway from environmental source, to colonisation and within-flockspread, to processing.
- Examine on-farm and within-processing interventions in combination and the potential protective effects of pre- and probiotics.
- Quantify the impacts of management, climatic factors and bird health events on the Campylobacter pathway.
- Examine Campylobacter population structures in different broiler systems and the factors that determine them
- Analyse the environmental sources of Campylobacter on farms, quantifying changes in numbers and populations in relation to climate and season in different EU states and in SE Asia.
- Determine the role of protozoal/algal ?hosts? as natural ?reservoirs? of Campylobacter and if insects are important sources of these bacteria.
- Follow broilers from farm to consumers and determine how processing and subsequent storage affect Campylobacter numbers and population structure.
- Examine survival of common Campylobacter types in laboratory models and determine if exposure to environment affects virulence and the progression along the pathway.
- Use cutting edge molecular techniques to determine mechanisms of C. jejuni that allow it to persist in the environment and in the chicken gut.
- Investigate sensitivity and specificity of boot socks as potential surveillance tools
- Integrate the results into state of the art modelling and risk assessment tools which will be used to determine risk and the impact of intervention. This will inform poultry producers and other stakeholders.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2012

To: 2014

Cost: £622,151
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Fields of Study
Animal Health