The University of Nottingham has teamed up with a group of Canadian researchers to develop a treatment to eliminate campylobacter from poultry.

Campylobacter is one of the most common form of food-borne illness, infecting millions of people worldwide every year.

Ottawa based-GangaGen Life Sciences and the UK researcher hops to develop a treatment based on bacteriophages. Bacteriophages are naturally occurring viruses that target and destroy bacteria with a high degree of efficiency, and do so selectively and specifically, without affecting beneficial bacteria or body cells.

Ian Connerton, Northern Foods Professor of Food Safety at the University of Nottingham said: “Our team’s research has demonstrated that certain phages specific for Campylobacter can significantly reduce the load of the bacteria carried by poultry.

“By implication, this should also reduce the risk to consumers by decreasing bacterial contamination of meat that is prevalent in poultry processing and is transferred to chicken meat on grocery shelves.”