Assessment of the survival of Campylobacter


Project Name

Development of accurate predictive models for the assessment of the survival of Campylobacter jejuni under food-relevant conditions




2010 - 2012

Project Collaborators

Prof TJ Humphrey (University of Liverpool)


University of Liverpool

Project Description


Campylobacter are major zoonotic pathogens and control in the food chain is a public health necessity. One approach is to use potentially lethal processes like heat or freezing. Campylobacter is said to be sensitive to hostile environments, but survives well in foods and many infection vehicles had been heated before consumption or subject to refrigeration. Predictive models can inform processors about food treatments to eliminate pathogenic bacteria like Campylobacter but data used in current models are inappropriate as techniques used did not:

• Take account of interactions with foods and the environment.

• Recognise the population biology of Campylobacter

• Allow detection of injured cells, which may still be a health threat.

We believe that Campylobacter survival is underestimated and its growth potential in foods largely undetermined. We are examining the growth/survival of Campylobacter under conditions relevant to those found in food, taking account of how this is affected by food characteristics. We will use highly sensitive recovery techniques and our work will provide accurate data to properly inform generic predictive models.