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J Gen Microbiol. 1991 Aug;137(8):1955-61.

Temperature-dependent expression of flagella in Legionella.

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Institut für Genetik und Mikrobiologie, Universität Würzburg, Germany.


Legionella pneumophila, the causative agent of Legionnaires' disease, was analysed by electron microscopy for production of surface structures. Crystalline surface (S-) layers and fimbriae were not detected, but monotrichous flagellation was seen. Polyclonal antibodies specific for the 47 kDa flagellin subunit of L. pneumophila Philadelphia I were used in Western blots to confirm the presence of flagella subunits in various L. pneumophila strains tested, but the antiserum also reacted with flagellin subunits of L. micdadei, L. hackelia [serogroup (SG) 1 and SG2] and L. longbeachae (SG2). Flagellation of Legionellae was shown to be temperature regulated. When the growth temperature of virulent and avirulent of strain L. pneumophila Philadelphia I was shifted from 30 degrees C to either 37 or 41 degrees C, a decrease in the percentage of flagellated bacteria within the population was observed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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