ClosedAgriculture & Agri-food

Comparative genomics of Campylobacter strains prevalent in Canadian poultry production associated with human disease: Identification of biomarkers relevant to the development of targeted mitigation strategies

PROJECT LEAD(S)/CO-LEAD(S) Eduardo Taboada (Public Health Agency of Canada) & G. Douglas Inglis (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) Lethbridge)
COMPETITION/ FUNDING OPPORTUNITY Genome Alberta - Alberta Applied Agriculture Genomics Program (A3GP)
PROJECT END DATE June 30, 2022

Campylobacteriosis, an acute intestinal illness and most commonly reported bacterial foodborne infection in Alberta, is caused by Campylobacter jejuni (Cj) through the consumption of contaminated chicken. Decades of research suggest that human infections are a result of a small proportion of high-risk Cj strains in the Canadian chicken supply chain and that these pathogenic strains are linked to cattle as the reservoir. The goal of this project is to use whole-genome sequencing of Cj isolates to: 1) identify genetic signatures for the rapid, sensitive, and accurate detection of high-risk Cj strains that contribute to human infections, 2) develop improved tools for detection of high-risk Cj strains originating in non-chicken reservoirs (cattle), and 3) applying genomic epidemiology approaches to identify the origin of fluoroquinolone-resistant strains responsible for human infections in Alberta. This surveillance will facilitate the study of campylobacteriosis epidemiology in Canada which will contribute to mitigation strategies to reduce its impact on the poultry sector and human health.

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