Submitted to: Microbial Biotechnology
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/30/2009
Publication Date: 3/20/2010
Citation: Byeonghwa, J., Muraoka, W.T., Zhang, Q. 2010. Advances in Campylobacter Biology and Implications for Biotechnological Applications. Microbial Biotechnology. 3(3):242-258.
Interpretive Summary: Campylobacter jejuni is a major foodborne pathogen of animal origin and a leading cause of bacterial gastroenteritis in humans. Campylobacter has received considerable attention lately due to the high morbidity caused by this organism and increasing prevalence of antibiotic resistance among isolates. This review surveys the recent advances in Campylobacter biology with particular regard to its metabolism, protein modification, genetic variability, mechanisms of colonization and antibiotic resistance and regulation of gene expression. Additionally, we present current and potential biotechnologies that may reduce the human disease burden caused by this organism.
Technical Abstract: Campylobacter jejuni is a major foodborne pathogen of animal origin and a leading cause of bacterial gastroenteritis in humans. During the past decade, especially since the publication of the first C. jejuni genome sequence, major advances have been made in understanding the pathobiology and physiology of this organism. It is apparent that C. jejuni has evolved sophisticated mechanisms for effective colonization of the intestinal tracts in various animal species. Although Campylobacter is fragile in the environment and requires fastidious growth conditions, it exhibits a great flexibility in the adaptation to various habitats including the gastrointestinal tract. This high adaptability is attributable to its genetically, metabolically and phenotypically diverse population structure and its ability to change in response to various challenges. Unlike other enteric pathogens, such as Escherichia coli and Salmonella, Campylobacter is unable to utilize exogenous glucose as a nutrient source and mainly depends on the catabolism of amino acids as a carbon source. Campylobacter can become resistant to antibiotic treatment due to its hypermutability and possesses eukaryote-like dual protein glycosylation systems, which modify flagella and other surface proteins with various glycan structures. In this review we will summarize the distinct biological traits of Campylobacter and discuss the potential biotechnological approaches that can be developed to control this important pathogen.