Campylobacter-Acanthamoeba interactions

Vieira, Ana, Seddon, Alan and Karlyshev, Andrey V. (2015) Campylobacter-Acanthamoeba interactions. Microbiology, 161(5), pp. 933-947. ISSN (print) 1350-0872


Campylobacter jejuni is a foodborne pathogen recognized as the major cause of human bacterial enteritis. Undercooked poultry products and contaminated water are considered as the most important sources of infection. Some studies suggest transmission and survival of this bacterial pathogen may be assisted by free-living protozoa Acanthamoeba. The latter is known to play the role of a host for various pathogenic bacteria protecting them from harsh environmental conditions. Importantly, there is a similarity between the mechanisms of bacterial survival within amoebae and macrophages, making the former a convenient tool for the investigation of the survival of pathogenic bacteria in the environment. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in the interaction between Campylobacter and Acanthamoeba are not well understood. Whilst some studies suggest the ability of C. jejuni to survive within the protozoa, the other reports support an extracellular mode of survival only. In this review we focus on the studies investigating the interaction between Campylobacter and Acanthamoeba, address some reasons for the contradictory results and discuss possible implications of these results in epidemiology. Additionally, as the molecular mechanisms involved remains unknown, we also suggest possible factors, which may be involved in this process. Deciphering the molecular mechanisms of pathogen-protozoa interaction will assist in a better understanding of Campylobacter lifestyle and in the development of novel antibacterial drugs.

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