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Open Access Research

Virulence characteristics of five new Campylobacter jejuni chicken isolates

Lavinia Stef1, Ada Cean1, Aida Vasile3, Calin Julean1, Dan Drinceanu1 and Nicolae Corcionivoschi12*

Author Affiliations

1 School of Animal Sciences and Biotechnology, Banat University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine – King Michael I of Romania, Calea Aradului nr. 119, Timisoara, Romania

2 National Children Research Centre, Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin Road, Dublin 12, Ireland

3 Dunarea de Jos University, Galati, Romania

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Gut Pathogens 2013, 5:41  doi:10.1186/1757-4749-5-41

Published: 13 December 2013

Abstract

Campylobacter enteritis has emerged as one of the most common forms of human diarrheal illness. In this study we have investigated the virulence potential of five new C. jejuni chicken isolates (RO14, RO19, RO24, RO29 and RO37) originated from private households in the rural regions of Banat and Transylvania in Romania. Following isolation and in vitro virulence assay, on HCT-8 cells, our results show that all the C. jejuni chicken isolates overcome the virulence abilities of the highly virulent strain C. jejuni 81-176. Motility, an important virulence factor was significantly improved in all the new chicken isolates. The ability to survive to the antimicrobial activity of the human serum, to resist to the violent attack of bile acids and to survive in the presence of synthetic antibiotics was increased in all the chicken isolates. However, these were statistically significant only for isolates RO29 and RO37. In conclusion our study shows, based on invasiveness and motility, and also on the data provided by the serum and bile resistance experiments that all the new chicken isolates are able to infect human cells, in vitro, and could potentially represent a health hazard for humans.