Send to

Choose Destination
Avian Dis. 2001 Jul-Sep;45(3):549-57.

Role of Campylobacter jejuni potential virulence genes in cecal colonization.

Author information

Food and Feed Safety Research Unit, Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center, United States Department of Agriculture, College Station, TX 77845, USA.


Campylobacter jejuni, a common commensal in chickens, is one of the leading causes of bacterial gastroenteritis in humans worldwide. The aims of this investigation were twofold. First, we sought to determine whether mutations in the C. jejuni ciaB and pldA virulence-associated genes impaired the organism's ability to colonize chickens. Second, we sought to determine if inoculation of chicks with C. jejuni mutants could confer protection from subsequent challenge with the C. jejuni wild-type strain. The C. jejuni ciaB gene encodes a secreted protein necessary for the maximal invasion of C. jejuni into cultured epithelial cells, and the pldA gene encodes a protein with phospholipase activity. Also included in this study were two additional C. jejuni mutants, one harboring a mutation in cadF and the other in dnaJ, with which we have previously performed colonization studies. In contrast to results with the parental C. jejuni strain, viable organisms were not recovered from any of the chicks inoculated with the C. jejuni mutants. To determine if chicks inoculated with the C. jejuni mutants become resistant to colonization by the C. jejuni parental strain upon subsequent challenge, chicks were inoculated either intraperitoneally (i.p.) or both orally and i.p. with the C. jejuni mutants. Inoculated birds were then orally challenged with the parental strain. Inoculation with the C. jejuni mutants did not provide protection from subsequent challenge with the wild-type strain. In addition, neither the C. jejuni parental nor the mutant strains caused any apparent morbidity or mortality of the chicks. We conclude that mutations in genes cadF, dnaJ, pldA, and ciaB impair the ability of C. jejuni to colonize the cecum, that chicks tolerate massive inoculation with these mutant strains, and that such inoculations do not provide biologically significant protection against colonization by the parental strain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center