The behaviour of Campylobacter jejuni in the environment is poorly documented. Rapid loss of viability on culture media is reported. This phenomenon is associated with the development of so-called coccoid cells. It has been suggested that these cells can be infective to animals and man. Results obtained with ATP-measurements of coccoid cells and Direct Viable Count (DVC) support this hypothesis. Introduction of coccoid cells into simulated gastric, ileal and colon environments did not result in the presence of culturable cells. Oral administration to laboratory animals and volunteers caused no typical symptoms of campylobacteriosis. Until 30 days after uptake of the cells antibodies against C. jejuni could not be detected in the blood, and the presence of this microorganism in stool samples could not be demonstrated.