Hello and welcome to the website for the Twitter Microbiology Journal Club #microtwjc !

Having seen the success of #twitjc and #phtwitjc I decided to try setting a microbiology one up.

Luckily I’ve had a lot of offers of help and you’ll be meeting the #microtwjc team as the sessions go on (although if you also want to get involved it’s not too late – just tweet me (@_zoonotica_) or comment below.)

The journal club will take place on alternate Tuesdays at 8pm British Summer Time and we aim to cover topics across the whole spectrum of ‘microbiology’.

The first paper (for the session on 8th May) is my choice and is:

Peptidoglycan-Modifying Enzyme Pgp1 Is Required for Helical Cell Shape and Pathogenicity Traits in Campylobacter jejuni 

(Full reference: Frirdich E, Biboy J, Adams C, Lee J, Ellermeier J, et al. (2012) Peptidoglycan-Modifying Enzyme Pgp1 Is Required for Helical Cell Shape and Pathogenicity Traits in Campylobacter jejuniPLoS Pathog 8(3): e1002602. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1002602 )

I will post a list of discussion points later on this week (if you have any points please do comment below) but for now here is the Author Summary:

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.”

The hashtag for next Tuesday and for every week is #microtwjc  If you’re not sure how best to follow the conversation next Tuesday – I’m going to be trialing TweetChat which should allow me to follow the hashtag and nothing else more easily…

If this whole thing including Twitter is new to you (as I know it is to some) the LSE has produced a guide for academics: “Using Twitter in university research, teaching and impact activities” (links to a PDF) which is a great starting point.

I’m so excited and can’t wait to see you all 8pm BST next Tues 8th May  😀

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