P-042. Genome Analysis of Campylobacter jejuni Strain M1

C. Friis1, T. Wassenaar1, D. G. Newell2, M. Toszeghy2, A. Ridley2, G. Manning2, D. W. Ussery1;
1Ctr. for Biological Sequence Analysis, Lyngby, DENMARK, 2Vet. Lab. Agency, Addlestone, UNITED KINGDOM.

Chickens are commonly asymptomatically colonised with Campylobacter jejuni and poultry meat is implicated as a major source of human campylobacteriosis; however, the evidence is largely circumstantial. Following a visit to a poultry abattoir one surveillance team member developed campylobacteriosis. The strains isolated from the human case and poultry flock sampled were identical by serotyping, fla typing, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and amplified fragment polymorphism, thus providing genetically validated evidence of the direct transmission of pathogenic Campylobacter from a poultry source to human. The strain M1 is Sequence Type 137, contains no plasmid, and has a low invasiveness and CDT activity in vitro. M1 has now been sequenced. The gene content of 18 Campylobacter genomes, completely or largely sequenced, have been compared to that of M1 to identify any genes conserved throughout the species (the core genome), as well as any genes unique to the M1 strain. The results indicate a set of roughly 1200 core genes in C. jejuni, or 65% of the average gene content. The core genome of the thermophilic Campylobacter spp. covers about 900 genes. Several genes and gene clusters unique to the M1 strain have been identified, which are currently being analyzed. We have constructed a “Genome BLAST atlas” to visualize the results of BLAST comparisons of M1 against the other Campylobacter genomes. This is the first genomic analysis of a strain isolated from chicken with proven pathogenic potential to humans.