Nanobodies targeting conserved epitopes on the major outer membrane protein of Campylobacter as potential tools for control of Campylobacter colonization

Vet Res. 2017 Dec 8;48(1):86. doi: 10.1186/s13567-017-0491-9.


Campylobacter infections are among the most prevalent foodborne infections in humans, resulting in a massive disease burden worldwide. Broilers have been identified as the major source of campylobacteriosis and reducing Campylobacter loads in the broiler caeca has been proposed as an effective measure to decrease the number of infections in humans. Failure of current methods to control Campylobacter in broilers stresses the urgency to develop novel mitigation measures. We obtained six nanobodies with a broad specificity, that recognize strains belonging to the two most relevant species, Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli. The target of the nanobodies was identified as the major outer membrane protein, a porin that contributes to bacterial virulence and viability. Multimerization of the nanobodies led to agglutination of C. jejuni cells, which may affect colonization in the chicken gut. These Campylobacter-specific nanobodies may be useful to develop a strategy for preserving chickens from Campylobacter colonization.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / immunology*
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / immunology
  • Bacterial Proteins / immunology
  • Campylobacter Infections / immunology
  • Campylobacter Infections / microbiology
  • Campylobacter Infections / prevention & control
  • Campylobacter Infections / veterinary*
  • Campylobacter coli / immunology*
  • Campylobacter jejuni / immunology*
  • Chickens*
  • Epitopes / immunology
  • Porins / immunology
  • Poultry Diseases / immunology
  • Poultry Diseases / microbiology
  • Poultry Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Single-Domain Antibodies / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Epitopes
  • Porins
  • Single-Domain Antibodies
  • major outer membrane protein, Campylobacter jejuni