Campylobacter jejuni is a common cause of serious diarrhoeal disease in humans, in contrast to the avian population, where exposure results in prolonged colonization at high density without disease. Colonized poultry present a significant source of infection to humans worldwide. The aim of this work was to compare the interaction of Campylobacter with primary intestinal cells from humans and poultry to identify factors that account for the divergent outcome following Campylobacter exposure. A primary intestinal cell model of Campylobacter infection was developed using cells grown from human and chicken intestinal biopsies. The cultured cells were infected with a number of strains of Campylobacter. Invasion by C. jejuni and the influence of intestinal mucus on Campylobacter internalization were studied by fluorescence microscopy and gentamicin protection assays. C. jejuni invaded primary human intestinal cells in a microtubule-, microfilament- and caveolin-dependent manner. Entry of C. jejuni into primary chicken intestinal cells also occurred. Chicken mucus, but not intestinal mucus of human origin, significantly reduced infection of primary human intestinal cells. Avian mucus appears to inhibit Campylobacter from interacting with epithelial cell surfaces.