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Jun 17, 2020

Campylobacter jejuni is a major cause of diarrheal disease in humans.

However, C. jejuni is also naturally found in chickens and doesn’t cause them any problems, so people frequently get sick from eating undercooked chicken. Dr. David Hendrixson is a Professor of Microbiology at the UT Southwestern Medical Center. Dr. Hendrixson studies C. jejuni and how it causes disease.

Dr. Hendrixson talks about why C. jejuni is preferentially found in chickens and other birds, how C. jejuni is also associated with the paralytic condition Guillain-Barre syndrome, how the motility of C. jejuni helps it cause disease, how the motility appendage (the flagellum) of C. jejuni is a beautiful nanomachine, why C. jejuni microaerophilic growth leads to underreporting of Campylobacter disease, could disease be reduced by preventing C. jejuni colonization of chickens, and how an off-the-cuff comment by his postdoctoral mentor led him to jump into a challenging and rewarding field of research.

The microCase for listeners to solve is about Dusty Broome, a curio shop owner who gets a mysterious illness while cleaning out his shed.

Karl Klose, Ph.D. (UTSA)
David Hendrixson, Ph.D. (UT Southwestern Medical Center)
Janakiram Seshu, Ph.D. (UTSA)
Mylea Echazarreta (UTSA)