Genome Sequencing of Atypical Disease-associated and Emerging Infectious Disease Isolates of the Biodefense Category B Food and Water Borne Priority Pathogen Campylobacter Jejuni, and Related Species

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This project is complete. Please see the production status page for links to public data.


The genomes of five well-characterized Campylobacter jejuni subsp. jejunistrains will be sequenced to 8-fold coverage and the genomes of four emerging infectious isolates of Campylobacter and the only known commensal of Campylobacter will be completed. This work will significantly expand and complement the Campylobacter comparative genome project that was completed in 2005. The strains we have chosen for sequencing possess significant genetic differences that influence their pathogenic potential or constitute a non-pathogenic reference for in silico genomic subtraction. The variety of diseases caused and virulence capabilities of these strains underscores the diversity within the species. It is anticipated that this wealth of information will help address fundamental questions about the genomic basis of Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) and Miller-Fisher syndrome (MFS), of pathogenesis of atypical/extraintestinal and emerging C. jejuni strains, of the diversity of Campylobacter spp. (and virulence mechanisms) causing human illness, and to determine the extent of gene transfer among Campylobacterspp., resulting in the emergence of non-C. jejuni subsp. jejuni infectious agents. Furthermore, this data will aid in forensic analysis in cases of bioterrorism by facilitating the generation of detection systems and supply targets for vaccine development.


Strain selection was preformed after consultation with the Campylobacterscientific community resulting in the selection of ten Campylobacter strains that are targeted for genomic sequencing. Analysis of the genomic data will allow for examination of genetic differences, including gross chromosomal changes and individual polymorphisms, and their correlation to disease progression and outcomes caused by this important biodefense agent.