Spirochaete-like swimming mode of Campylobacter jejuni in a viscous environment

Mika Shigematsu, Akiko Umeda, Shuji Fujimoto, Kazunobu Amako

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28 Citations (Scopus)


The swimming patterns of Campylobacter jejuni in environments of low and high viscosity were examined by a video tracking method. In media of low viscosity, C. jejuni swam with an average velocity of 39.3 μm/s with frequent changes in direction. The velocity of C. jejuni increased in a medium at a little higher viscosity than that of a low viscosity buffer. in addition to this, C. jejuni showed a second increase of velocity in media of a high viscosity of about 40 centipoise. The swimming patterns at these two velocity peaks were compared. In the second peak the wild-type C. jejuni exhibited repeated back and forth swimming patterns which were more like the swimming pattern of spirochaetes than that of monotrichous bacteria. Thus (C. jejuni may presumably use a different swimming mode in media of high viscosity than the original swimming mode mediated by the propelling force of the flagella. The spiral shape of this bacterium like that of spirochaetes may strongly influence its swimming ability in media of high viscosity such as the mucous layer of the intestinal tract.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-526
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Medical Microbiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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