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Methods Mol Biol. 2013;954:493-503. doi: 10.1007/978-1-62703-161-5_30.

The mouse as a model for pulmonary legionella infection.

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Department of Cell Biology, University of São Paulo, Ribeirao Preto, Sao Paulo, Brazil.


Legionella pneumophila is an intracellular bacterium that was evolutionarily selected to survive in freshwater environments by infecting free-living unicellular protozoa. Once humans inhale contaminated water droplets, the bacteria reach the pulmonary alveoli where they are phagocytized by resident alveolar macrophages. Depending on host immunity and bacterial virulence genes, the infection may progress to an acute pneumonia called Legionnaires' disease, which can be fatal. Of note, an effective immune response is critical to the outcome of the human infection. These clinical observations highlight the importance of animal models of pulmonary infection for in vivo investigation of bacterial pathogenesis and host responses. In this chapter we provide detailed protocols for intranasal infection of mouse with L. pneumophila.

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