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Arjan Narbad

Research Leader

Contact Details:

Institute of Food Research,
Norwich Research Park,
Colney, Norwich,

Research interests

My research interests are focused on the microbial ecology of the gastrointestinal tract and the role of the complex gut microbiota in health and disease. We have particular interest in isolation and characterisation gut commensal bacteria of animal and human origin for use as probiotics for exclusion of gut pathogens. Mechanisms of competitive exclusion phenomena are being investigated with the objective of designing strains with improved functionality. Identification and characterisation of novel antimicrobials including bacteriophage endolysins that target gut pathogens such as Clostridium difficile and Clostridium perfringens and the impact of these biomolecules on the gut microbial communities is another area of active research within my group.  The effect of dietary components on the gut microbial ecology and the importance of gut commensals in transformation of food bioactive molecules are being studied using in vitro model gut systems as well in vivo with human volunteers.

News articles

Poultry probiotic’s coat clues to ability to battle bugs
18 Nov 2013
Transmission Electron Micrograph of normal, wild type (left) and EPS cluster mutant (right) L. johnsonii. The mutant on the right has a much reduced EPS coatIFR researchers have characterised the coat of a potential poultry probiotic, giving the first clues of how it may be used to exclude pathogenic bacteria from chickens. Lactobacillus johnsonii has previously been shown to exclude Clostridium perfringens from the guts of poultry, opening the door to it being developed as a way of reducing necrotic […] Read full story

Bacteriophages battle superbugs
18 Jul 2013
C. difficile bacteriophage FCD27IFR microbiologists are reinvigorating a way of battling C. difficile infections that they hope will help overcome the growing problem of antibiotic resistant superbugs in hospitals. Our digestive system is home to trillions of bacteria, which are crucial to our overall health, through helping us digest food and battling potentially harmful microbes. When we take […] Read full story

Poultry probiotic cuts its coat to beat bad bacteria
27 Mar 2013
stockxpertcom_id3121281_size2[1]A strain of probiotic bacteria that can fight harmful bacterial infections in poultry has the ability to change its coat, according to new findings from the Institute of Food Research. The probiotic is currently being taken forward through farm-scale trials to evaluate how well it combats Clostridium perfringens – a cause of necrotic enteritis in […] Read full story

Tuning natural antimicrobials to improve their effectiveness at battling superbugs
22 Aug 2011
Ongoing research at IFR, which is strategically funded by BBSRC, is exploring the use of virus-produced proteins that destroy bacterial cells to combat potentially dangerous microbial infections. Bacteriophages produce endolysin proteins that specifically target certain bacteria, and IFR has been studying one that destroys Clostridium difficile, a common and dangerous source of hospital-acquired infections. New […] Read full story

‘Missing’ bacteria in Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Ulcerative Colitis patients identified
16 Nov 2010
Bacteroides cells colonising the gut. Image by Kathyrn Cross and Nikki Horn, IFRScientists on the Norwich Research Park have identified some bacteria that are low in abundance in the gut of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and ulcerative colitis (UC) patients compared to healthy adults. This finding could be relevant to preventing or managing these conditions to maintain health. Using molecular profiling techniques Institute of Food Research scientists […] Read full story

Recent Publications

Dertli E., Colquhoun I., Gunning A. P., Bongaerts R. J., Le Gall G., Bonev B. B., Mayer M. J., Narbad A. (2013)
Structure and biosynthesis of two novel exopolysaccharides produced by Lactobacillus johnsonii FI9785
Journal of Biological Chemistry 288 31938-31951
Gervasi T., Horn N., Wegmann U., Dugo G., Narbad A., Mayer M. J. (2013)
Expression and delivery of an endolysin to combat Clostridium perfringens
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 98 2495-2505
Gervasi T., Lo Curto R., Narbad A., Mayer M. J. (2013)
Complete genome sequence of I broken vertical bar CP51, a temperate bacteriophage of Clostridium perfringens
Archives of Virology 158 (9) 2015-2017
Hatziioanou D., Mayer M. J., Duncan S. H., Flint H. J., Narbad A. (2013)
A representative of the dominant human colonic Firmicutes, Roseburia faecis M72/1, forms a novel bacteriocin-like substance
Anaerobe 23 5-8
Horn N., Wegmann U., Dertli E., Mulholland F., Collins S. R. A., Waldron K. W., Bongaerts R. J., Mayer M. J., Narbad A. (2013)
Spontaneous mutation reveals influence of exopolysaccharide on Lactobacillus johnsonii surface characteristics
PLoS ONE 10.1371/ journal.pone.0059957
Meader E., Mayer M. J., Steverding D., Carding S. R., Narbad A. (2013)
Evaluation of bacteriophage therapy to control Clostridium difficile and toxin production in an in vitro human colon model system
Williams R., Meader E., Mayer M. J., Narbad A., Roberts A. P., Mullany P. (2013)
Determination of the attP and attB sites of phage phiCD27 from Clostridium difficile NCTC 12727
Journal of Medical Microbiology 63 1439-1443
Filacomo A., Nueno Palop C., Mandalari G., Bisignano G., Narbad A. (2012)
Effect of garlic powder on the growth of commensal bacteria from the gastrointestinal tract.
Phytomedicine 19 707-711
Mayer M. J., Gasson M. J., Narbad A. (2012)
Genomic sequence of bacteriophage phi8074-B1 and activity of its endolysin and engineered variants against Clostridium Sporogenes
Applied and Environmental Microbiology 78 (10) 3685-3692
Oguntoyinbo F. A., Narbad A. (2012)
Molecular characterization of lactic acid bacteria and in situ amylase expression during traditional fermentation of cereal foods
Food Microbiology 31: 254-262
Saha S., Hollands W. J., Teucher T., Needs P. W., Narbad A., Ortori C. A., Barrett D. A., Rossiter J. T., Mithen R. F., Kroon P. A. (2012)
Isothiocyanate concentrations and interconversion of sulforaphane to erucin in human subjects after consumption of commercial frozen broccoli compared to fresh broccoli
Molecular Nutrition and Food Research 56 (12) 1906-1916

 width=180Dr Arjan Narbad

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