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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2003 Jan;69(1):711-4.

Survival and resuscitation of ten strains of Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli under acid conditions.

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  • 1Department of Public Health and Food Safety, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.


The culturability of 10 strains of Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli was studied after the bacteria were exposed to acid conditions for various periods of time. Campylobacter cells could not survive 2 h under acid conditions (formic acid at pH 4). The 10 Campylobacter strains could not be recovered, even when enrichment media were used. Viable cells, however, could be detected by a double-staining (5-cyano-2,3-ditolyl tetrazolium chloride [CTC]-4',6'-diamidino-2-phenylindole [DAPI]) technique, demonstrating that the treated bacteria changed into a viable but nonculturable (VBNC) form; the number of VBNC forms decreased over time. Moreover, some VBNC forms of Campylobacter could be successfully resuscitated in specific-free-pathogen fertilized eggs via two routes, amniotic and yolk sac injecting.

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