Molecular pathogenesis of the obligate intracellular bacterium Coxiella burnetii. Academic Article uri icon


  • The agent of Q fever, Coxiella burnetii, is an obligate intracellular bacterium that causes acute and chronic infections. The study of C. burnetii pathogenesis has benefited from two recent fundamental advances: improved genetic tools and the ability to grow the bacterium in extracellular media. In this Review, we describe how these recent advances have improved our understanding of C. burnetii invasion and host cell modulation, including the formation of replication-permissive Coxiella-containing vacuoles. Furthermore, we describe the Dot/Icm (defect in organelle trafficking/intracellular multiplication) system, which is used by C. burnetii to secrete a range of effector proteins into the host cell, and we discuss the role of these effectors in remodelling the host cell.

published proceedings

  • Nat Rev Microbiol

altmetric score

  • 11.556

author list (cited authors)

  • van Schaik, E. J., Chen, C., Mertens, K., Weber, M. M., & Samuel, J. E.

citation count

  • 165

complete list of authors

  • van Schaik, Erin J||Chen, Chen||Mertens, Katja||Weber, Mary M||Samuel, James E

publication date

  • August 2013