Dr. Alain Stintzi' Research Group

Posted on Monday, April 4, 2011

The research group led by Dr. Alain Stintzi, a scientist at the Ottawa Institute of Systems Biology and Department of BMI, has discovered a group of genes that control the bacterial virulence of Campylobacter jejuni (C. jejuni). Campylobacter jejuni is a common gastrointestinal pathogen in humans and a common commensal colonizer of poultry.  C. jejuni lacks several common metabolic pathways and was therefore thought not to use fructose as a carbon source for growth. However, Dr. Stintzi’s  group has recently identified a group of genes (cj0480c-cj0490) that allow C. jejuni to use fucose as a substrate for growth, thereby linking a new metabolic pathway in C. jejuni with its virulent lifestyle. Their work is published in the Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Apr 26;108(17):7194-9, and highlighted by the Consortium for Functional Glycomics (CFG) and Nature Publishing Group at http://www.functionalglycomics.org/fg/update/2011/110512/full/fg.2011.17.shtml.

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