Eliminating the most common cause of food poisoning from the food chain is the aim of new research funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the world-leading UK-based poultry breeding company Aviagen.
Campylobacter is responsible for more than 300,000 cases of food poisoning a year in England and Wales and is estimated to cost the UK economy up to £600M a year. It is usually passed to humans via poultry meat which has not been cooked or handled properly. While good hygiene and thorough cooking kills the bug, preventing it entering the food chain in the first instance woul dramatically reduce the risk of infection. To this end, BBSRC and Aviagen have awarded Scottish researchers £1.3M to map genes responsible for resistance to the bug with the view to being able to breed Campylobacter-resistant chickens in the future.