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Identification of Possible Virulence Marker from Campylobacter jejuni Isolates - Volume 20, Number 6—June 2014 - Emerging Infectious Disease journal - CDC

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Identification of Possible Virulence Marker from Campylobacter jejuni Isolates - Volume 20, Number 6—June 2014 - Emerging Infectious Disease journal - CDC

link to Volume 20, Number 6—June 2014

Volume 20, Number 6—June 2014


Identification of Possible Virulence Marker fromCampylobacter jejuni Isolates

James W. Harrison, Tran Thi Ngoc Dung, Fariha Siddiqui, Sunee Korbrisate, Habib Bukhari, My Phan Vu Tra, Nguyen Van Minh Hoang, Juan Carrique-Mas, Juliet Bryant, James I. Campbell, David J. Studholme, Brendan W. Wren, Stephen Baker, Richard W. Titball, and Olivia L. ChampionComments to Author 
Author affiliations: University of Exeter, Exeter, UK (J.W. Harrison, D.J. Studholme, R.W. Titball, O.L. Champion)The Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Oxford University Clinical Research Unit, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (T.T.N. Dung, M.P.V. Tra, N.V.M. Hoang, J. Carrique-Mas, J. Bryant, J.I. Campbell, S. Baker)Comsats University, Islamabad, Pakistan (F. Siddiqui, H. Bukhari)Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand (S. Korbrisate)University of Oxford, Oxford, UK (J. Carrique-Mas, J. Bryant, J.I. Campbell, S. Baker)London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK (B.W. Wren)


A novel protein translocation system, the type-6 secretion system (T6SS), may play a role in virulence of Campylobacter jejuni. We investigated 181 C. jejuni isolates from humans, chickens, and environmental sources in Vietnam, Thailand, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom for T6SS. The marker was most prevalent in human and chicken isolates from Vietnam.
Campylobacter species are the principal bacterial cause of human foodborne enterocolitis worldwide (1). Despite the global significance of C. jejuni as a leading cause of diarrheal disease (2), the mechanisms of pathogenesis of C. jejuni are not well understood. Research onCampylobacter epidemiology has largely been conducted in high-income countries and therefore may not be representative of global patterns.
Recently, a novel class of protein translocation system was identified in gram-negative bacteria. This system, named the type-6 secretion system (T6SS), has been found to play roles in pathogen–pathogen and host–pathogen interactions and has a major effect on virulence in a range of pathogens, including Vibrio cholerae (36) (reviewed in 7,8). A functional T6SS was recently identified in C. jejuni (9,10) and found to have several roles in virulence, influencing cell adhesion, cytotoxicity toward erythrocytes, and colonization of mice (9,10). However, it is unknown whether T6SS changes the effects of these pathogens in human infection.
In this study, we aimed to determine whether presence of T6SS in C. jejuni is potentially a marker associated with more severe human disease. Moreover, because human infection withC. jejuni is often associated with contact with poultry, we investigated whether poultry harborC. jejuni that possess T6SS.

Mr Harrison is a PhD student at the University of Exeter under the supervision of D.S. His research focuses on using bioinformatic methods to investigate the comparative genomics of emerging diseases and plant-associated microbes.


We thank Konrad Paszkiewicz and Karen Moore for assistance with whole-genome sequencing.
The work was partly supported by the UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, award BB/1024631/1 to R.T., D.S., and O.C.; by a Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Award (WT097835MF); and by a studentship awarded to J.H.


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Technical Appendix

Suggested citation for this article: Harrison JW, Dung TTN, Siddiqui F, Korbrisate S, Bukhari H, Tra MPV, et al. Identification of possible virulence marker from Campylobacter jejuni isolates. Emerg Infect Dis [Internet]. 2014 Jun [date cited]. Web Site Icon
DOI: 10.3201/eid2006.130635

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