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A twisted bug's life

A twisted bug's life. Wikimedia

The team

From the Institute of Infection and Global Health, University of Liverpool:

  • Dr Elli Wright
  • Dr Nicola Williams
  • Prof Daniel Rigby
  • Dr Lizeth Lacharme-lora
  • Dr Amy Wedley
  • Dr Caroline Millman
  • Dr Miroslava Hukelova
  • Nicola Frost

The science behind the exhibit

Campylobacter is the most common bacterial cause of human diarrhoeal disease in the developed world. Infection occurs mostly through eating undercooked chicken, but can also occur through recreational contact with the environment. Chickens become infected during rearing and can carry very high numbers of the bacteria. Our research investigates the presence and survival of Campylobacter in the farming, countryside and park environments; its interaction with the chicken gut; and the mechanisms that make chickens susceptible to infection. Understanding these issues could help us reduce chicken colonisation and, therefore, reduce illness in humans.

About the exhibit

  • Explore our walk-though giant gut and discover how Campylobacter infects us, how it makes us ill and how our immune system responds
  • Make your own Campylobacter "twisted bug" keyring to take home
  • Play our interactive puzzles and learn about Campylobacter infection in chickens
  • Contribute to our research with our hazards perception video challenge and help us understand whether or not people perceive microbiological hazards in the kitchen and the countryside


These images are protected by copyright law and may be used with acknowledgement.

A twisted bug's life

Copyright free. Obtained from Wikimedia Campylobacter 

Copyright free. Obtained from Wikimedia

Copyright: The University of Manchester Parks and countryside 

The parks and countryside we visit are full of life, large and small. Some of the tiny bugs or ‘pathogens’ that live in this environment can make us ill if we come into contact with them. There is no need to be scared, but it is a good idea to know how to reduce the chances of these bugs making us ill.

Copyright: The University of Manchester

Copyright: University of Liverpool Farm and countryside environment 

Our research involves looking for Campylobacter in the farm and countryside environment. We wear boot socks and walk defined areas of the farms and countryside to collect any Campylobacter present on the ground.

Copyright: University of Liverpool