• Campylobacter jejuni;
  • epithelial cell invasion;
  • Lactobacillus;
  • probiotics;
  • intestinal pathogen


Campylobacter jejuni is the most common bacterial cause of enterocolitis in humans, leading to diarrhoea and chronic extraintestinal diseases. Although probiotics are effective in preventing other enteric infections, beneficial microorganisms have not been extensively studied with C. jejuni. The aim of this study was to delineate the ability of selected probiotic Lactobacillus strains to reduce epithelial cell invasion by C. jejuni. Human colon T84 and embryonic intestine 407 epithelial cells were pretreated with Lactobacillus strains and then infected with two prototypic C. jejuni pathogens. Lactobacillus helveticus, strain R0052 reduced C. jejuni invasion into T84 cells by 35–41%, whereas Lactobacillus rhamnosus R0011 did not reduce pathogen invasion. Lactobacillus helveticus R0052 also decreased invasion of one C. jejuni isolate (strain 11168) into intestine 407 cells by 55%. Lactobacillus helveticus R0052 adhered to both epithelial cell types, which suggest that competitive exclusion could contribute to protection by probiotics. Taken together, these findings indicate that the ability of selected probiotics to prevent C. jejuni-mediated disease pathogenesis depends on the pathogen strain, probiotic strain and the epithelial cell type selected. The data support the concept of probiotic strain selectivity, which is dependent on the setting in which it is being evaluated and tested.