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The Genomic Sequence of the Accidental Pathogen Legionella pneumophila

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Science  24 Sep 2004:
Vol. 305, Issue 5692, pp. 1966-1968
DOI: 10.1126/science.1099776

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Abstract

We present the genomic sequence of Legionella pneumophila, the bacterial agent of Legionnaires' disease, a potentially fatal pneumonia acquired from aerosolized contaminated fresh water. The genome includes a 45–kilobase pair element that can exist in chromosomal and episomal forms, selective expansions of important gene families, genes for unexpected metabolic pathways, and previously unknown candidate virulence determinants. We highlight the genes that may account for Legionella's ability to survive in protozoa, mammalian macrophages, and inhospitable environmental niches and that may define new therapeutic targets.

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