Enhancement of Campylobacter Jejuni Virulence by Serial Passage in Chicks

Avian Dis. Jul-Sep 1989;33(3):425-30.


Four isolates of Campylobacter jejuni were studied to determine changes in virulence following six serial passages in chicks. Chicks that received invasive isolates exhibited diarrhea and depressed weight gain. Immature mice were used to assess virulence of the passaged isolates of C. jejuni. Nine-day-old mice infected with passaged isolates showed lethargy, dehydration, depression, decreased weight gain, and occult blood in feces. Mouse pups inoculated with the third and sixth chick passage levels of an invasive isolate showed significant depression in mean daily weight gain and elevated mortality compared with controls and subjects inoculated with unpassaged isolates. This study demonstrated enhancement of virulence in a C. jejuni isolate following chick passage. In contrast, three other passaged isolates failed to show any consistent increase in virulence.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Campylobacter Infections / microbiology
  • Campylobacter Infections / veterinary*
  • Campylobacter fetus / isolation & purification
  • Campylobacter fetus / pathogenicity*
  • Chickens / microbiology*
  • Mice
  • Poultry Diseases / microbiology*
  • Serial Passage
  • Virulence
  • Weight Gain
  • Weight Loss