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Cell Microbiol. 2008 Jun;10(6):1209-20. doi: 10.1111/j.1462-5822.2008.01145.x. Epub 2008 Mar 17.

Host cell processes that influence the intracellular survival of Legionella pneumophila.

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Section of Microbial Pathogenesis, Yale University School of Medicine, 295 Congress Avenue, Room 345, New Haven, CT 06536, USA.


Key to the pathogenesis of intracellular pathogens is their ability to manipulate host cell processes, permitting the establishment of an intracellular replicative niche. In turn, the host cell deploys defence mechanisms that limit intracellular infection. The bacterial pathogen Legionella pneumophila, the aetiological agent of Legionnaire's Disease, has evolved virulence mechanisms that allow it to replicate within protozoa, its natural host. Many of these tactics also enable L. pneumophila's survival and replication inside macrophages within a membrane-bound compartment known as the Legionella-containing vacuole. One of the virulence factors indispensable for L. pneumophila's intracellular survival is a type IV secretion system, which translocates a large repertoire of bacterial effectors into the host cell. These effectors modulate multiple host cell processes and in particular, redirect trafficking of the L. pneumophila phagosome and mediate its conversion into an ER-derived organelle competent for intracellular bacterial replication. In this review, we discuss how L. pneumophila manipulates host cells, as well as host cell processes that either facilitate or impede its intracellular survival.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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