Aims: The aim of the study was to measure the survival of 19 Campylobacter jejuni strains of different origins, including two reference strains, four poultry-derived isolates, nine human isolates and four water isolates, in sterilized drinking water.
Methods and results: Pure cultures of 19 C. jejuni strains were inoculated in sterile drinking water and incubated at 4 degrees C for 64 days. Survival was determined by culturability on both selective (Karmali agar) and non-selective [Columbia blood agar (CBA)] media. Culturability was shown to be strain and origin-dependent. Campylobacter jejuni showed prolonged survival on a non-selective than on a selective medium.
Conclusions: The origin of the strain is a determining factor for the survival of C. jejuni in drinking water at 4 degrees C. Poultry isolates showed a prolonged survival, which could be an indication that these strains could play an important role in the transmission of campylobacteriosis through water. In addition, culture conditions are an important factor for evaluating the survival of C. jejuni in drinking water at 4 degrees C. The non-selective agar (CBA) allowed growth of C. jejuni over a longer period of time than the selective agar (Karmali). Furthermore, an enrichment broth (Bolton) allowed the recovery of all 19 C. jejuni strains during the 64 days of incubation at 4 degrees C.
Significance and impact of the study: This study highlighted differences in culturability depending on culture conditions and on strain origin.