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Moving from concept to control; use of phages for Campylobacter reduction
Summary There is a general recognition that poultry are a major source of Campylobacter. While current options to control Campylobacter levels in chickens on the farm are limited, mathematical modelling predicts a two log reduction could lead to 30 fold reduction in human illness (EFSA, 2011). Experimental studies with phages have shown a 0.5 – 2 log reduction in caecal levels, highlighting the potential of phage treatment. With industryfunding, to date, we have established a diverse phage collection, gained an understanding of onfarm Campylobacter dynamics, developed an insect model that allows rapid, costeffective in vivo screening of phages, established collaborative research relationship with the leading European phage research team, screened a select group of Australian Campylobacter phages in the UK laboratory with access to collaborative work and have started a very limited and focused “farm specific” trial, evaluating a “farm specific” cocktail.

The study will also be carried out with Professor Ian Connerton, (University of Nottingham, UK), an international expert on Campylobacter phages and collaborator with the CRC work.

The current proposal will build on this solid basis of achievements and allow a more universal adoption of phage treatment (as opposed to the farm specific approach we are currently pursuing). To achieve this, there is a need to understand the scientific basis for specific phagehost interaction via targeted laboratory studies (Year 1). Carry out invitro and invivo studies plus trial carcass spray (laboratory); (Year 2). With an understanding of all critical issues, onfarm trials on live birds will be done (Year 3).
Program Chicken Meat
Research organisation The State of Queensland acting through the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Objective summary Assess the relationship between the phages and farm Campylobacter isolates via a series of logical and targeted laboratory based studies

Evaluate selected phages that may form a cocktail for their suitability based on simple lytic profiles and detailed molecular studies

Achieve a suitable log reduction of Campylobacter with the possible inclusion of either “active” or “passive” phage therapy strategy, which is assessed invitro (micro titre plates) or invivo (insect model)

Based on the knowledge of all of the above develop a cocktail of phages

Carryout trials on farm raised birds (farm) and on processed carcasses (lab)

Generate data to support necessary Australian regulatory frame work for the use of bacteriophages as biocontrol agents by the Australian Poultry Industry

Provide the Australian Poultry Industry an efficacious environmentally friendly option to control Campylobacter that will benefit the poultry industry and the consumer
Project Stage Current
Project start date Saturday, July 30, 2016
Project completion date Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Journal articles from project Not Available
National priority Promoting and maintaining good health
Rural priority Advanced Technology
RIRDC goal CME-Deliver safe food and good animal welfare outcomes
Principal researcher Nalini Chinivasagam
Research manager Kylie Hewson
Admin contact Paul Hickey