The simple expedient of vaccinating chickens against the bug C. jejuni could cut down the incidence of food poisoning. If C. jejuni contaminated poultry is not prepared and cooked properly the bug can be transmitted to humans and may cause severe gastro-intestinal infections. C. jejuni is the leading cause of more than 371000 estimated cases of food borne illness in the UK alone in 2009 resulting in more than 17500 hospitalisations and 88 deaths. It is present in the gut of many animals including chickens. Scientists at Washington State University are studying the maternal antibodies that are passed from hens to their chicks.