NEW: Free online microbiology journal club #microtwjc

Campylobacter jejuni
A new online microbiology journal club will take place on alternate Tuesdays at 8pm UK Time (GMT+1) and aims to cover topics across the whole spectrum of microbiology. The first paper (for 8th May) is:

Peptidoglycan-Modifying Enzyme Pgp1 Is Required for Helical Cell Shape and Pathogenicity Traits in Campylobacter jejuni. (2012) PLoS Pathog 8(3): e1002602.
“Bacterial cell shape is dictated by the composition of the cell envelope component peptidoglycan. Some important pathogens have a characteristic helical corkscrew morphology that may help them burrow into mucus overlaying cells to initiate colonization and pathogenicity. One example is Campylobacter jejuni, the leading cause of bacterial-induced diarrheal disease in the developed world. Direct evidence supporting the hypothesis that C. jejuni shape is related to its pathogenicity traits has not previously been provided. We identified a gene encoding a peptidase modifying peptidoglycan that is essential for maintaining the C. jejuni corkscrew shape. We can now connect a C. jejuni gene with morphology and peptidoglycan biosynthesis. Loss of this gene was also found to affect pathogenic attributes such as chicken colonization, biofilms, motility, and activation of host inflammatory mediators. In addition, this is the first study to thoroughly characterize C. jejuni peptidoglycan structure and to identify a gene involved in peptidoglycan maintenance. Our findings highlight an emerging theme in bacterial pathogenesis research: the connection between bacterial cell biology and pathogenesis. Finally, our characterization of C. jejuni cell shape and peptidoglycan provides a starting point for further work in this area in C. jejuni and other bacteria with curved and helical morphologies.”

How do you take part in an online journal club?

I’ll be conducting an analysis of who talked to who after the first event, but already the conversation has begun (and we haven’t even started yet :-)


“So let us invite ourselves to commit to Open Discourse. Let us set the tone and establish the precedent of enlightened debate that is public spirited, as well as public. Let us refrain from contributing the inconsequential, the self serving and the counterproductive. And above all, let us remember that discourse need not be discourteous. I encourage all of us to not only participate in this movement, but to promote it. Tell a friend. Tell a mentor. Tell a protégé. Start submitting comments. In the end the value we receive will be the value we give. And the value to the world will be greater still.”
Beyond open access: open discourse, the next great equalizer. (2006) Retrovirology 2006, 3: 55 doi:10.1186/1742-4690-3-55

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