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Localization of Legionella bacteria within ribosome-studded phagosomes is not restricted to Legionella pneumophila

Abstract

In this report, we investigate the intracellular fate of selected members of the genus Legionella within the monocytic cell line Mono Mac 6 cells. By means of electron microscopy and immunocytochemistry, we could show that Legionella pneumophila as well as Legionella longbeachae are able to induce ribosome-studded phagosomes which associate with the rough endoplasmic reticulum (RER), whereas Legionella micdadei remains to be located within smooth phagosomes but also shows signs of RER association. In addition, we could demonstrate a remarkable correlation between the phagosome type and the morphological phenotype of intracellular bacteria: within ribosome-studded phagosomes, bacteria generally lacked the outer coat of low electron density whereas bacteria within the smooth phagosomes still possessed this outer coat. The virulence factors responsible for inhibition of phagosome maturation and their distribution within the genus Legionella as well as the biological significance of the morphological difference of bacteria within smooth and ER-associated phagosomes remain to be investigated.

Authors: Gerhardt H, Walz MJ, Faigle M, Northoff H, Wolburg H, Neumeister B
Journal: FEMS Microbiol Lett 192: 145-152
Year: 2000
PubMed: Find in PubMed