The Virulence of Clinical and Environmental Isolates of Campylobacter Jejuni

J Hyg (Lond). 1985 Feb;94(1):45-54. doi: 10.1017/s0022172400061118.


The virulence of Campylobacter jejuni and C. coli isolated from various water sources was compared with that of clinical strains by in vitro assays of adhesion, invasion and cytotoxicity to HeLa cells. Variation in degree of attachment was observed, but this did not appear to be related to strain source, However, water strains were less invasive and less cytotoxic to HeLa cells than clinical strains as shown by immunofluorescence and electron microscopy. These differences were particularly evident between clinical and water isolates of the same serotype and biotype implicated in an outbreak of campylobacter enteritis in a school. The enhanced virulence of the clinical isolates, possibly induced by passage, was confirmed by colonization tests on infant mice.

MeSH terms

  • Adhesiveness
  • Animals
  • Campylobacter fetus / pathogenicity*
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Virulence
  • Water Microbiology*