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Adv Exp Med Biol. 2012;984:231-48. doi: 10.1007/978-94-007-4315-1_12.

Developmental biology of Coxiella burnetii.

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Division of Biological Sciences, The University of Montana, Missoula, MT 59812, USA.


The biphasic developmental cycle of Coxiella burnetii is central to the pathogen's natural history and survival. A small, dormant cell morphotype (the small-cell variant or SCV) allows this obligate intracellular bacterium to persist for extended periods outside of host cells, resist environmental conditions that would be lethal to most prokaryotes, and is the major infectious stage encountered by eukaryotic hosts. In contrast, a large, metabolically-active morphotype (the large-cell variant or LCV) provides for replication of the agent within acidified parasitophorous vacuoles (PVs) of a host cell. The marked physiological changes, differential gene expression, and the regulatory and structural components involved in Coxiella's morphogenesis from LCV to SCV and back to the LCV are fascinating attributes of the pathogen and are reviewed in this chapter.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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