Biswas Awarded Grant

Dr. Debabrata Biswas

March 14, 2018

Dr. Debabrata Biswas has been awarded $100,000 by NIFA for his proposal entitled, “Competitive exclusion of Campylobactercolonization in poultry by overexpression of linoleate isomerase gene in Lactobacillus casei.”

A natural probiotic able to improve growth and competitively
exclude zoonotic pathogens from the poultry gut, leading to safer and more
improved poultry products and a reduction in foodborne infections in humans,
could be a critical step forward in sustainable poultry farming. The
beneficial effects of probiotics depend upon the total quantity of probiotic
and the amount and type of functional byproducts they produce. In a recent
study, we found that in the presence of prebiotic-like components (peanut
flour and cocoa), production of linoleic acid by Lactobacillus casei (LC)
increased 100 fold; it was also able to outcompete several enteric bacterial
pathogens, including Campylobacter jejuni. Therefore, we have developed a
genetically engineered, naturally bacteriophage-resistant LC strain that
overepresses the linoleate isomerase (mcra) gene called LC-JPR-CLA. We have
already verified its ability to inhibit C. jejuni growth, attachment, and
infection in vitro in chicken cells. In this research project, we aim to
evaluate if LC-JPR-CLA is also able to outcompete C. jejuni in an in vivo
chick model, while maintaining its capacity to improve growth and maintain
overall gut health by production of byproducts with anti-inflammatory
properties. This research into the properties and bioactive capacities of
LC-JPR-CLA has the potential to provide a novel, cost-effective,
consumer-friendly, and simple-to-use natural probiotic that could improve
poultry growth, support poultry immune health, and reduce transmission of
poultry-borne Campylobacter to humans.