Nilsson A, Johansson C, Skarp A, Kaden R, Bertilsson S, Rautelin H
APMIS 126 (9) 762-770 [2018-09-00; online 2018-08-31]
The role of water for transmission of Campylobacter jejuni and C. coli to humans might be underestimated, as factors important for bacterial viability in water are largely unknown. We have studied water survival of seven C. jejuni and eight C. coli isolates originally isolated from Swedish waters, together with selected reference strains, over eight days at 4 °C in the dark in untreated water collected from a local lake and a private well. To study seasonality, lake water samples were collected during spring and autumn. Samples for culturable bacterial counts were taken on days 2, 4, 6, and 8 and compared to the start inoculum. For C. jejuni, a significantly better survival was observed in autumn than in spring lake water. Furthermore, C. jejuni had a significantly better survival than C. coli in autumn lake and well water samples; the rate of culturability loss was almost double for C. coli in autumn lake water. These findings contribute to a better understanding on the seasonality of waterborne Campylobacter infections and the general predominance of C. jejuni.