The addition of bovine superoxide dismutase to Brucella broth or Brucellar agar greatly echanced the oxygen tolerance of Campylobacter fetus subsp. jejuni strain H840 (ATCC 29428). Catalase also enhanced oxygen tolerance, but to a lesser extent. These enzymes must act externally to the bacteria. All of the diverse compounds which enhance oxygen tolerance of C. fetus, including nor-epinephrine and a combination of ferrous sulfate, sodium metabisulfite, and sodium pyruvate, share the ability to quench either superoxide anions or hydrogen peroxide. On the basis of these and other data, we propose that C. fetus is more sensitive to exogenous superoxide anions and hydrogen peroxide than are aerotolerant bacteria, despite the occurrence of superoxide dismutase and catalse activities in C. fetus. Compounds that enhance oxygen tolerance in C. fetus appear to act by quenching superoxide anions and hydrogen peroxide which occur spontaneously in the culture medium.