Campylobacter jejuni is an emerging food-borne pathogen that poses a high risk to human health. Knowledge of the strain source can contribute significantly to an understanding of this pathogen, and can lead to improved control measures in the food-processing industry. In this study, slaughterhouse and surface-water isolates of C. jejuni were characterized and compared in terms of their antimicrobial resistance profiles and adhesion to stainless steel and chicken skin. Resistance of C. jejuni biofilm cells to benzalkonium chloride and Satureja montana ethanolic extract was also tested. The data show that the slaughterhouse isolates are more resistant to ciprofloxacin, and adhere better to stainless steel at 42 °C, and at 37 °C in 50% chicken juice. Additionally, biofilm cells of the isolate with the greatest adhesion potential (C. jejuni S6) were harvested and tested for resistance to S. montana ethanolic extract, benzalkonium chloride, and erythromycin; and for efflux-pump activity, as compared to their planktonic cells. The biofilm cells showed increased resistance to both S. montana ethanolic extract and erythromycin, and increased efflux-pump activity. These data indicate adaptation of C. jejuni slaughterhouse isolates to the chicken host, as well as increased biofilm cell resistance due to increased efflux-pump activity.
Keywords: Campylobacter jejuni; biofilm resistance; efflux pump activity; slaughterhouse isolates; surface-water isolates.