Development of Fluoroquinolone Resistance through Antibiotic Tolerance in Campylobacter jejuni

Myungseo Park, Jinshil Kim, Jill Feinstein, Kevin S. Lang, Sangryeol Ryu, Byeonghwa Jeon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Antibiotic tolerance not only enables bacteria to survive acute antibiotic exposures but also provides bacteria with a window of time in which to develop antibiotic resistance. The increasing prevalence of Campylobacter jejuni isolates resistant to clinically important antibiotics, particularly fluoroquinolones (FQs), is a global public health concern. Currently, little is known about antibiotic tolerance and its effects on resistance development in C. jejuni. Here, we show that exposure to ciprofloxacin or tetracycline at concentrations 10 and 100 times higher than the MIC induces antibiotic tolerance in C. jejuni, whereas gentamicin or erythromycin treatment causes cell death. Interestingly, FQ resistance rapidly develops in C. jejuni after tolerance induction by ciprofloxacin and tetracycline. Furthermore, after tolerance is induced, alkyl hydroperoxide reductase (AhpC) plays a critical role in reducing FQ resistance development by alleviating oxidative stress. Together, these results demonstrate that exposure of C. jejuni to antibiotics can induce antibiotic tolerance and that FQ-resistant (FQR) C. jejuni clones rapidly emerge after tolerance induction. This study elucidates the mechanisms underlying the high prevalence of FQR C. jejuni and provides insights into the effects of antibiotic tolerance on resistance development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMicrobiology Spectrum
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by funding from MnDRIVE (Minnesota’s Discovery, Research, and InnoVation Economy) to B.J. and the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) from the Ministry of Education (NRF-2021R1I1A1A01050990) to J.K. We declare no competing interests.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Park et al.


  • Campylobacter jejuni
  • antibiotic tolerance
  • fluoroquinolone resistance
  • oxidative stress

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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