species are increasingly being recognized as agents of gastroenteritis worldwide. However, data on the pathogenic characteristics of the organism isolated in rural communities in South Africa are lacking. In this study, the prevalence of Campylobacter
spp. from diarrhoeal stools, haemolytic and haemagglutinating activities of the isolates, and antibiotic susceptibility profiles, including minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) patterns to different antibiotics, were determined using the standard microbiological techniques. Campylobacter
spp. were isolated from individuals of all age-groups; however, the infection rate was higher among individuals aged less than two years (30.4%). Of 115 Campylobacter strains isolated, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis indicated that 98 (85%) were C. jejuni
, while 17 (15%) were C. coli
. Seventy-one (62%) of the strains showed haemolysis on human blood, and 80% agglutinated human blood, whereas 22.6% were β-lactamase-positive. Resistance to antimicrobials, such as erythromycin, ciprofloxacin, vancomycin, and fusidic acid, was high. Increased resistance to macrolide and quinolone antibiotics poses major risks for treatment failure. Haemolytic and haemagglutinating activities may be useful in preliminary characterization of pathogenic strains in settings where Campylobacter
-associated infections are common.