Phase-variable surface structures are required for infection of Campylobacter jejuni by bacteriophages

Chris Coward, Andrew J. Grant*, Craig Swift, Jennifer Philp, Rebecca Towler, Mohammad Heydarian, Jennifer A. Frost, Duncan J. Maskell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


This study characterizes the interaction between Campylobacter jejuni and the 16 phages used in the United Kingdom typing scheme by screening spontaneous mutants of the phage-type strains and transposon mutants of the sequenced strain NCTC 11168. We show that the 16 typing phages fall into four groups based on their patterns of activity against spontaneous mutants. Screens of transposon and defined mutants indicate that the phage-bacterium interaction for one of these groups appears to involve the capsular polysaccharide (CPS), while two of the other three groups consist of flagellatropic phages. The expression of CPS and flagella is potentially phase variable in C. jejuni, and the implications of these findings for typing and intervention strategies are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4638-4647
Number of pages10
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2006

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Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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