Carbohydrate molecules as a potential means to prevent food poisoning

Published on July 22, 2013

Marguerite Clyne talks about research activities that she and collaborators are working on to try and elucidate which carbohydrate molecules present on mucin glycoproteins and on milk sugars act to prevent the bacteria Campylobacter jejuni, an important cause of food poisoning in humans, from causing disease.

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They are looking at sugars present on mucin purified from chicken mucus, as C. jejuni can live in chickens but the chickens do not get sick. Chicken mucins can prevent C. jejuni from interacting with epithelial cells. Interestingly, sugars present in the colostrum of cows can also prevent C. jejuni from entering the human cell. Current work aims to discover which sugars present in mucin and milk prevent C. jejuni from entering the cells. These sugars have the potential to be added as ingredients to certain foods in order to prevent infection against C. jejuni and possibly other bacteria that also cause disease.

Clyne Group | University College Dublin, Ireland

Dr. Marguerite Clyne earned both her primary degree and PhD in Microbiology from Trinity College in Dublin. She has been a lecturer in the School of Medicine and Medical Science at the University College Dublin, Ireland since 2004 and she leads an active research group which investigates the interaction of bacterial pathogens with mucosal surfaces. She is a co-principal investigator on the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) funded Alimentary Glycoscience Research Cluster Project, an inter-institutional, multi-disciplinary consortium of academic and industrial researchers, which is exploring the role of gut glycosylation in host-microbe interactions.

Simone Albrecht is a postdoc and Barbara Adamczyk is a research assistant in the glycobiology laboratory at the National Institute for Bioprocessing, Research and Training, Dublin, Ireland, led by Prof. Pauline Rudd.

Sources

The original research article is published in the International Journal of Food Microbiology.

Lanea, J. A.; Mariño, K.; Naughton, J.; Kavanaugh, D.; Clyne, M.; Carrington, S. D.; Hickey, R. M. Anti-infective bovine colostrum oligosaccharides: Campylobacter jejuni as a case study. Int. J. Food Microbiol. 2012, 157, 182–188. doi:10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2012.04.027

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