Short Communication

Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 196, Issue 5, pp 375-383

First online:

Characterization and reactivity of broiler chicken sera to selected recombinant Campylobacter jejuni chemotactic proteins

  • Hung-Yueh YehAffiliated withPoultry Microbiological Safety Research Unit, Richard B. Russell Agricultural Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture Email author 
  • , Kelli L. HiettAffiliated withPoultry Microbiological Safety Research Unit, Richard B. Russell Agricultural Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture
  • , John E. LineAffiliated withPoultry Microbiological Safety Research Unit, Richard B. Russell Agricultural Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture
  • , Bruce S. SealAffiliated withPoultry Microbiological Safety Research Unit, Richard B. Russell Agricultural Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture

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Abstract

Campylobacter jejuni, a Gram-negative rod bacterium, is the leading causative agent of human acute bacterial gastroenteritis worldwide. Consumption and handling of raw or undercooked poultry are regarded as a major source for human infection. Because bacterial chemotaxis guides microorganisms to colonization and invasion in the host cells, proteins involved in chemotactic processes can be novel targets for vaccine development. In this communication, we report amplification, cloning and expression of the C. jejuni chemotactic proteins in an Escherichia coli expression system. A total of 15 chemotactic protein genes were successfully expressed. These recombinant proteins were confirmed by nucleotide sequencing, SDS-PAGE analysis and immunoblot analysis of six-His and hemagglutinin tags. Twelve recombinant chemotactic proteins were further tested whether they were antigenic using sera from broiler chickens older than 4 weeks. The immunoblot results show that each chicken serum reacted to a variety of the recombinant proteins, but all sera reacted to the Cjj0473 gene product (annotated as a methyl-accepting chemotaxis protein), suggesting that anti-Campylobacter antibodies may be prevalent in the poultry population. These antibody screening results provide a rationale for further evaluation of the Cjj0473 protein as a potential vaccine for broilers to improve human food safety.

Keywords

Campylobacter jejuni Poultry Chemotaxis ε-Proteobacteria Foodborne pathogen Zoonoses Methyl-accepting chemotaxis proteins