Inactivation of Campylobacter jejuni by chlorine and monochloramine

M. J. Blaser, P. F. Smith, W. L.L. Wang, J. C. Hoff

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70 Scopus citations


Campylobacter jejuni and closely related organisms are important bacterial causes of acute diarrheal illness in the United States. Both endemic and epidemic infections have been associated with consuming untreated or improperly treated surface water. We compared susceptibility of three C. jejuni strains and Escherichia coli ATCC 11229 with standard procedures used to disinfect water. Inactivation of bacterial preparations with 0.1 mg of chlorine and 1.0 mg of monochloramine per liter was determined at pH 6 and 8 and at 4 and 25°C. Under virtually every condition tested, each of the three C. jejuni stains was more susceptible than the E. coli control strain, with greater than 99% inactivation after 15 min of contact with 1.0 mg of monochloramine per liter or 5 min of contact with 0.1 mg of free chlorine per liter. Results of experiments in which an antibiotic-containing medium was used suggest that a high proportion of the remaining cells were injured. An animal-passaged C. jejuni strain was as susceptible to chlorine disinfection as were laboratory-passaged strains. These results suggest that disinfection procedures commonly used for treatment of drinking water to remove coliform bacteria are adequate to eliminate C. jejuni and further correlate with the absence of outbreaks associated with properly treated water.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-311
Number of pages5
JournalApplied and environmental microbiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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