The intestinal microbiota influences Campylobacter jejuni colonization and extraintestinal dissemination in mice

Jason L. O'Loughlin, Derrick R. Samuelson, Andrea G. Braundmeier-Fleming, Bryan A. White, Gary J. Haldorson, Jennifer B. Stone, Jeremy J. Lessmann, Tyson P. Eucker, Michael E. Konkel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Campylobacter jejuni is a leading cause of human foodborne gastroenteritis worldwide. The interactions between this pathogen and the intestinal microbiome within a host are of interest as endogenous intestinal microbiota mediates a form of resistance to the pathogen. This resistance, termed colonization resistance, is the ability of commensal microbiota to prevent colonization by exogenous pathogens or opportunistic commensals. Although mice normally demonstrate colonization resistance to C. jejuni, we found that mice treated with ampicillin are colonized by C. jejuni, with recovery of Campylobacter from the colon, mesenteric lymph nodes, and spleen. Furthermore, there was a significant reduction in recovery of C. jejuni from ampicillin-treated mice inoculated with a C. jejuni virulence mutant (ΔflgL strain) compared to recovery of mice inoculated with the C. jejuni wildtype strain or the C. jejuni complemented isolate (ΔflgL/flgL). Comparative analysis of the microbiota from nontreated and ampicillin- treated CBA/J mice led to the identification of a lactic acid-fermenting isolate of Enterococcus faecalis that prevented C. jejuni growth in vitro and limited C. jejuni colonization of mice. Next-generation sequencing of DNA from fecal pellets that were collected from ampicillin-treated CBA/J mice revealed a significant decrease in diversity of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) compared to that in control (nontreated) mice. Taken together, we have demonstrated that treatment of mice with ampicillin alters the intestinal microbiota and permits C. jejuni colonization. These findings provide valuable insights for researchers using mice to investigate C. jejuni colonization factors, virulence determinants, or the mechanistic basis of probiotics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4642-4650
Number of pages9
JournalApplied and environmental microbiology
Issue number14
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Ecology


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