There’s not enough time for a vaccine to give rise to antibodies against the bacteria, says Prof. Paul Wigley of Liverpool university.
The findings have important implications in the challenge of developing a poultry vaccine for campy, a leading cause of food poisoning.
In the first study of functional immunity to Campylobacter jejuni in the chicken, researchers have shown that antibody production plays a role, albeit limited, in the clearance of intestinal infection.
However, it fails to clear the bacterium within the lifetime of a commercial broiler chicken, which is typically around six weeks of age.
Wigley,who works from the university's Institute of Infection and Global Health, said "our findings suggest that any campylobacter vaccine relying solely on an antibody response is unlikely to be effective in broiler chickens."