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Knowledge to predict pathogens: Legionella pneumophila lifecycle critical review part I uptake into host cells

Abstract

Legionella pneumophila (L. pneumophila) is an infectious disease agent of increasing concern due to its ability to cause Legionnaires’ Disease, a severe community pneumonia, and the difficulty in controlling it within water systems. L. pneumophila thrives within the biofilm of premise plumbing systems, utilizing protozoan hosts for protection from disinfectants and other environmental stressors. While there is a great deal of information regarding how L. pneumophila interacts with protozoa and human macrophages (host for human infection), the ability to use this data in a model to attempt to predict a concentration of L. pneumophila in a water system is not known. The lifecycle of L. pneumophila within host cells involves three processes: uptake, growth, and egression from the host cell. The complexity of these three processes would risk conflation of the concepts; therefore, this review details the available information regarding how L. pneumophila invades host cells (uptake) within the context of data needed to model this process, while a second review will focus on growth and egression. The overall intent of both reviews is to detail how the steps in L. pneumophila’s lifecycle in drinking water systems affect human infectivity, as opposed to detailing just its growth and persistence in drinking water systems

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