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Filamentation of Campylobacter in broth cultures

Ghaffar, Nacheervan M.; Connerton, Phillippa L.; Connerton, Ian F.


Nacheervan M. Ghaffar

Phillippa L. Connerton

Northern Foods Professor of Food Safety


The transition from rod to filamentous cell morphology has been identified as a response to stressful conditions in many bacterial species and has been ascribed to confer certain survival advantages. Filamentation of Campylobacter jejuni was demonstrated to occur spontaneously on entry in to stationary phase distinguishing it from many other bacteria where a reduction in size is more common. The aim of this study was to investigate the cues that give rise to filamentation of C. jejuni and C. coli and gain insights into the process. Using minimal medium, augmentation of filamentation occurred and it was observed that this morphological change was wide spread amongst C. jejuni strains tested but was not universal in C. coli strains. Filamentation did not appear to be due to release of diffusible molecules, toxic metabolites, or be in response to oxidative stress in the medium. Separated filaments exhibited greater intracellular ATP contents (2.66 to 17.4 fg) than spiral forms (0.99 to 1.7 fg) and showed enhanced survival in water at 4oC and 37oC compared to spiral cells. These observations support the conclusion that the filaments are adapted to survive extra-intestinal environments. Differences in cell morphology and physiology need to be considered in the context of the design of experimental studies and the methods adopted for the isolation of campylobacters from food, clinical and environmental sources.


Ghaffar, N. M., Connerton, P. L., & Connerton, I. F. (2015). Filamentation of Campylobacter in broth cultures. Frontiers in Microbiology, 6(657), doi:10.3389/fmicb.2015.00657

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jun 30, 2015
Deposit Date Jul 2, 2015
Publicly Available Date Jul 2, 2015
Journal Frontiers in Microbiology
Electronic ISSN 1664-302X
Publisher Frontiers Media
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 6
Issue 657
Keywords Campylobacter, filamentation, morphological changes, morphotypes, survival, intracellular ATP
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Document is protected by copyright and was first published by Frontiers. All rights reserved. It is reproduced with permission.


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