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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2009 Feb;12(1):74-80. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2008.11.005. Epub 2009 Jan 12.

Coxiella type IV secretion and cellular microbiology.

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Coxiella Pathogenesis Section, Laboratory of Intracellular Parasites, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, 903 South 4th Street, Hamilton, MT 59840, USA.


Coxiella burnetii is a widespread zoonotic bacterial pathogen that causes human Q fever. In vivo, Coxiella displays a tropism for mononuclear phagocytes where it participates in biogenesis of a lysosome-like replication compartment to conduct its obligate intracellular lifestyle. Coxiella actively regulates multiple events during infection, presumably via proteins with effector functions that are delivered to the host cytosol by a Dot/Icm type IV secretion system. Because the organism is currently refractory to genetic manipulation, Coxiella Dot/Icm substrates have been identified using bioinformatics and Legionella pneumophila as a surrogate type IV delivery system. Functional characterization of the biological activity of these effector proteins will dramatically aid our ability to model Coxiella-host cell interactions.

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