Legionella pneumophila p45 element influences host cell entry and sensitivity to sodium
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Legionella pneumophila are environmental bacteria found ubiquitously in both natural and man-made water reservoirs, sometimes as constituents of biofilm communities, but mostly intracellularly within protozoal hosts. In the event that Legionella become aerosolized in water droplets and inhaled by humans, they can cause a potentially fatal form of pneumonia called Legionnaires' disease. Strains of L. pneumophila have highly plastic genomes that harbor numerous inter- and intra-genomic elements, enhancing their ability to live under diverse environmental conditions. One such mobile genomic element, p45 carries ~45 kbp of genes, including the Lvh (Legionella Vir homolog) type IVa secretion system. This element was evaluated for its contribution to L. pneumophila environmental resilience and virulence-related characteristics by comparing clinically isolated strain Philadelphia-1 that carries p45, Lp01 that lacks p45, and Lp01 with p45 reintroduced, Lp01+p45. We found that the p45 element impacts host cell entry and resistance to sodium, both virulence-related characteristics in Legionella species.
author list (cited authors)
Christensen, L. M., Sule, P., Strain, M., & Cirillo, J. D.