Campylobacter (C.) jejuni and C. coli can cause gastrointestinal disorders in humans characterized by acute inflammation. Inflammatory signals are initiated during interaction between these pathogens and human intestinal cells, but nothing is known about the stimulation of avian intestinal cells by Campylobacter. Interleukin-8 (IL-8) as a proinflammatory chemokine plays an important role in mobilizing cellular defence mechanism. IL-8 mRNA expression in both human intestinal cells (INT 407) and primary intestinal chick cells (PIC) was determined by quantitative real-time RT-PCR. The secretion of IL-8 protein by INT407 was measured using ELISA. Although C. jejuni and C. coli are considered to be harmless commensals in the gut of birds, the avian Campylobacter isolates investigated were able to induce the proinflammatory IL-8 in PIC as well as in INT407. In an in vitro system, C. jejuni as well as C. coli were able to induce IL-8 mRNA in PIC. Relation between the virulence properties like toxin production, the ability to invade and to survive in Caco-2 cells and the level of IL-8 mRNA produced by INT 407 and PIC after infection with Campylobacter strains was also investigated.