In vitro cell culture methods for investigating Campylobacter invasion mechanisms

L.M. Friis, C. Pin, B.M. Pearson, J.M. Wells*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


Studying the mechanisms of Campylobacter pathogenesis is complicated by the lack of simple animal models that mimic the disease seen in humans. In vitro cell culture methods provide a useful alternative to investigate the interactions between Campylobacter and the host epithelium that occur during infection. In the genomics era there is an increasing use of in vitro cell culture techniques to interrogate the potential role of different genes in pathogenesis. The aim of this review was to discuss the suitability and limitations of the various experimental approaches that might be adopted. We review current knowledge concerning the influence of cell-specific as well as bacterial factors required for Campylobacter invasion such as flagella and secreted proteins. The involvement and effects of phase variation on the results of invasion studies in cell culture emphasise the need to verify observed strain variations. We present the use of a mathematical Invasion Success Model to analyse Campylobacter invasion and show that it can be used to derive three strain dependent characteristics Imax, k, and I0. Even by combining data from independent experiments the Invasion Success Model can be used to statistically compare Campylobacter strains for their invasion of epithelial cells. Recommendations are given for the adoption of standard assay parameters and analytical methods such as the Invasion Success Model in order to facilitate comparison of data generated in different laboratories.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-160
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Microbiological Methods
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Bacterial invasion
  • Caco-2
  • Campylobacter
  • Gentamicin resistance assay
  • Polarised cell monolayer

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'In vitro cell culture methods for investigating Campylobacter invasion mechanisms'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this