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The Need to Feed Programs Campylobacter's 'Sat Nav'

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A rumbling tummy is our body's way of telling us "it's time for lunch." Likewise, bacteria need to know when it's time to eat.

Researchers at the Institute of Food Research on the Norwich Research Park have uncovered how the food-borne bacterial pathogen Campylobacter jejuni can change its swimming behaviour to find a location with more food.

Campylobacter is the most common cause of bacterial food-borne illness in the UK, with more than 371,000 cases annually. When people get infected, the bacteria need to find their way from the source of contamination, most often undercooked poultry, to the cells lining the gut, passing through thick layers of mucus. In these different locations, Campylobacter must find enough food to sustain itself as well as a suitable environment to carry out respiration, the process of generating energy.

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