Coinfection Mechanisms of Campylobacter and Escherichia coli in Human and Chicken Epithelial cells

Taylor Hanford, Thomas Wilkinson, Lisa Williams, Thomas Humphrey

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review


Campylobacter jejuniis the world’s most common food-borne pathogen. Campylobacterpathogenesis involves translocation across the intestinal epithelial cell barrier in both humans and chickens and previous work has suggested that strains of E. coli (ExPEC / APEC) may facilitate this process. This study aims to determine the effect that this relationship may have upon the invasive and adhesive potential of the two microbes using our recently published human and avian in vitromodel.

Invasiveness of C. jejuni and E. coli strains were measured using human (Caco-2) and avian (8E-11) epithelial cell lines derived from the gastrointestinal tract and were characterised by epifluorescent and confocal microscopy. Adhesion and invasion assays were carried out to determine the pathogenicity of the different bacteria. Metabolic activity of Caco-2 and 8E-11 together with bacterial strains using alamar blue assay.

Confocal and epifluorescence microscopy determined the strong presence of cytokeratin in Caco-2 cells whilst weak to medium signals were detected in 8E-11 cells. Optimal doses and times for of gentamicin across all strains was 0.02mg/ml for 90 minutes which did not affect metabolic activity of epithelial cells. Significant diversity was found in the adhesive/invasive potential of bacteria when exposed to human and avian cell types. The metabolic rate of C. jejuni (11168) and E. coli (K12) was investigated with the presence of K12 having negative impacts upon the activity of 11168.

The model described here will provide opportunity to improve our understanding of Campylobacterinvasion mechanisms in human and chickens so that improved strategies to negate these consequences may be designed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAccess Microbiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes


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