Enhancement of Campylobacter hepaticus culturing to facilitate downstream applications

Canh Phung, Timothy B. Wilson, José A. Quinteros, Peter C. Scott, Robert J. Moore, Thi Thu Hao Van

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Campylobacter hepaticus causes Spotty Liver Disease (SLD) in chickens. C. hepaticus is fastidious and slow-growing, presenting difficulties when growing this bacterium for the preparation of bacterin vaccines and experimental disease challenge trials. This study applied genomic analysis and in vitro experiments to develop an enhanced C. hepaticus liquid culture method. In silico analysis of the anabolic pathways encoded by C. hepaticus revealed that the bacterium is unable to biosynthesise l-cysteine, l-lysine and l-arginine. It was found that l-cysteine added to Brucella broth, significantly enhanced the growth of C. hepaticus, but l-lysine or l-arginine addition did not enhance growth. Brucella broth supplemented with l-cysteine (0.4 mM), l-glutamine (4 mM), and sodium pyruvate (10 mM) gave high-density growth of C. hepaticus and resulted in an almost tenfold increase in culture density compared to the growth in Brucella broth alone (log10 = 9.3 vs 8.4 CFU/mL). The type of culture flask used also significantly affected C. hepaticus culture density. An SLD challenge trial demonstrated that C. hepaticus grown in the enhanced culture conditions retained full virulence. The enhanced liquid culture method developed in this study enables the efficient production of bacterial biomass and therefore facilitates further studies of SLD biology and vaccine development.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20802
Number of pages10
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

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