Send to

Choose Destination
Res Microbiol. 1991 Jul-Aug;142(6):677-85.

The intracellular multiplication of Legionella pneumophila in protozoa from hospital plumbing systems.

Author information

Laboratoire d'Hygiène de la Ville de Paris.


Between October 1987 and March 1989, we tested 144 water samples obtained from the plumbing and cooling tower systems of 5 Paris hospitals for the presence of legionellae and amoebae. Of the samples tested for Legionella, 67 out of 144 (46.5%) were positive, and 82 out of 116 tested for amoebae (70.7%) were positive. The ability of protozoa to support the multiplication of legionella was shown by incubating samples at 35.5 degrees C for 7-15 days. Prior to determining the presence of legionellae and amoebae, 51 of the 144 samples were incubated. After incubation, 22 out of 25 (88%) samples which were positive for the presence of both Legionella and amoebae showed multiplication of Legionella. In 3 out of the 25 (12%) samples containing Legionella and amoebae, Legionella failed to multiply. Six out of the 51 (11.8%) samples which were negative in direct culture for Legionella but positive for amoebae, became positive after incubation. Legionella did not multiply in samples negative for amoebae, nor was there proliferation in samples after filtration through a 1.2-microns membrane followed by incubation for the same period and temperature. Strains of Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 and serogroup 6 (SG1 and SG6), including 3 patient isolates and 2 environmental isolates, were cocultured with 2 strains of amoebae and Tetrahymena pyriformis. Plate counts, Gimenez staining and electron microscopy demonstrated that intracellular legionellae proliferation occurred.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center