Uddannelses- og Forskningsministeriet - EUopSTART - Diversilist

Project: Research Councils

Project Details


The overall societal challenge that will be tackled is the risk of listeriosis (a severe infection transmitted via food) in elderly people.

Three main lines of research will be followed into a multidisciplinary and intersectorial project . As such, the overall scientific programme will be organised into 3 work packages:

The problem of listeriosis will be tackled through three complementary angles. In WP1 food habits of the elderly will be investigated. In WP2, the link between the gut microbiota and the risk of infection will be analysed, as well as the role of intraspecific diversity in the success of infection. Finally, WP3 will deal with prevention of food contamination through implementation of innovative food preservation.

One of the key assets of the project is the access to cohorts of elderly people, possibly over 75 years of age. Three groups will be followed over one to two years (WP1 & WP2): Group 1: elderly people living at home Group 2: elderly people living in retirement houses Group 3: elderly hospitalised Questionnaires will be issued periodically and biological material (faeces and saliva) will be sampled. Faeces will be processed by INRA in order to isolate L. monocytogenes. All isolates will be sequenced and dully characterised phenotypically (outdoors survival, biowaste valorisation, sessile growth, stress response). Correlations between genotypes and phenotypes will be analysed.

WP3 will require several contributions. SDU will investigate the effect of specific unsaturated fatty acids as “attenuators” of virulence. Similarly, NUIG will focus on molecules that could attenuate the onset of the general stress response by limiting infection. Preventing expression of virulence factors and blocking the general stress response could be a new, innovative approach to food safety by adding extra hurdles in food to prevent the risk of listeriosis.

Overall the excellence part of this ITN provides the ESRs with uptodate skills.
Effective start/end date30/09/201914/01/2020