Two enrichment broths (Preston and Roman & Doyle's) and four solid media (Preston, Skirrow's, Butzler's and Blaser's) were compared to determine their relative efficiencies in recovering campylobacters from 389 freshly voided seagull faeces, 276 of which were found to contain campylobacters by one or more of the procedures used.
A combination of enrichment in Preston medium followed by plating on to Preston agar gave the highest number of isolates (263). Enrichment in fluid media was shown to be an important part of the technique, as only 85 (30·8 %) of the 276 isolations were made as a result of direct plating.
Very little difference was seen between the two forms of enrichment (P > 0·5) but of the four selective media, Butzler's was significantly less efficient than any of the other three (P < 0·01), because it failed to grow more than a few strains of Campylobacter coli and the NARTC group, which together made up nearly two-thirds of the total number of Campylobacter spp. isolated.