Two-component signal transduction systems are commonly composed of a sensor histidine kinase and a cognate response regulator, modulating gene expression in response to environmental changes through a phosphorylation-dependent process. CosR is an OmpR-type response regulator essential for the viability of Campylobacter jejuni, a major foodborne pathogenic species causing human gastroenteritis. Although CosR is a response regulator, its cognate sensor kinase has not been identified in C. jejuni. In this study, DNA sequence analysis of the cosR flanking regions revealed that a gene encoding a putative sensor kinase, which we named cosS, is prevalent in non-thermotolerant Campylobacter spp., but not in thermotolerant campylobacters. Phosphorylation assays indicated that C. fetus CosS rapidly autophosphorylates and then phosphorylates C. fetus CosR, suggesting that the CosRS system constitutes a paired two-component signal transduction system in C. fetus. However, C. fetus CosS does not phosphorylate C. jejuni CosR, suggesting that CosR may have different regulatory cascades between thermotolerant and non-thermotolerant Campylobacter species. Comparison of CosR homolog amino acid sequences showed that the conserved phosphorylation residue (D51), which is present in all nonthermotolerant Campylobacter spp., is absent from the CosR homologs of thermotolerant Campylobacter species. However, C. jejuni CosR was not phosphorylated by C. fetus CosS even after site-directed mutagenesis of N51D, implying that C. jejuni CosR may possibly function phosphorylation- independently. In addition, the results of cosS mutational analysis indicated that CosS is not associated with the temperature dependence of the Campylobacter spp. despite its unique divergent distribution only in non-thermotolerant campylobacters. The findings in this study strongly suggest that thermotolerant and non-thermotolerant Campylobacter spp. have different signal sensing mechanisms associated with the CosR regulation.