Campylobacter jejuni is the leading cause of food-borne illness in the USA and one of the most common causes of diarrhoea worldwide. Central to its pathogenicity is its ability to induce the production of proinflammatory cytokines such as interleukin (IL)-8 in intestinal epithelial cells. Here, we demonstrated that C. jejuni infection of intestinal epithelial cells results in the activation of the ERK and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinases and that the ERK kinase pathway is essential for IL-8 production. We found that MAP kinase stimulation leading to IL-8 secretion requires C. jejuni gene products whose production is stimulated upon contact with epithelial cells. We also found that C. jejuni flagellin is a very poor stimulator of Toll-like receptor (TLR)-5 and therefore does not play a significant role in the stimulation of cytokine production.