Campylobacter jejuni genotypes are associated with post-infection irritable bowel syndrome in humans

Stephanie Peters, Ben Pascoe, Zuowei Wu, Sion C. Bayliss, Ximin Zeng, Adam Edwinson, Sakteesh Veerabadhran-Gurunathan, Selina Jawahir, Jessica K. Calland, Evangelos Mourkas, Robin Patel, Terra Wiens, Marijke Decuir, David Boxrud, Kirk Smith, Craig T. Parker, Gianrico Farrugia, Qijing Zhang, Samuel K. Sheppard, Madhusudan Grover

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Campylobacter enterocolitis may lead to post-infection irritable bowel syndrome (PI-IBS) and while some C. jejuni strains are more likely than others to cause human disease, genomic and virulence characteristics promoting PI-IBS development remain uncharacterized. We combined pangenome-wide association studies and phenotypic assays to compare C. jejuni isolates from patients who developed PI-IBS with those who did not. We show that variation in bacterial stress response (Cj0145_phoX), adhesion protein (Cj0628_CapA), and core biosynthetic pathway genes (biotin: Cj0308_bioD; purine: Cj0514_purQ; isoprenoid: Cj0894c_ispH) were associated with PI-IBS development. In vitro assays demonstrated greater adhesion, invasion, IL-8 and TNFα secretion on colonocytes with PI-IBS compared to PI-no-IBS strains. A risk-score for PI-IBS development was generated using 22 genomic markers, four of which were from Cj1631c, a putative heme oxidase gene linked to virulence. Our finding that specific Campylobacter genotypes confer greater in vitro virulence and increased risk of PI-IBS has potential to improve understanding of the complex host-pathogen interactions underlying this condition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1015
JournalCommunications Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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