In the article, published in quality microbiological journal, we determine the impact of environmental stresses on bacterial cells. The comparison of different environmental stress conditions showed that starvation severely impaired Campylobacters physiology, VBNC formation and virulence. However, the lower metabolic activity of starved cells was not a dormant state, since they survived within Caco-2 enterocites up to 4 days and caused systemic campylobacteriosis also in a mouse model. This indicates the connection between bacterial environmental stress response and their virulence properties.
The article was published among top 15 % group of food science & technology journals. We confirmed a direct link between stress response and infectivity of C. jejuni. We also established new functional model of the intestinal epithelium, which accords with the properties of normal, noncarcinogenic small intestinal epithelial cells (PSI). Heat stress increased only adhesion, while oxygen reduced their adhesion. Nutrient limitation reduced all virulence properties. There was no correlation between TER and the translocation capacity.