Conjugative Transfer by the Virulence System of Legionella pneumophila

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Science  06 Feb 1998:
Vol. 279, Issue 5352, pp. 873-876
DOI: 10.1126/science.279.5352.873

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Legionella pneumophila, the causative agent of Legionnaires' pneumonia, replicates within alveolar macrophages by preventing phagosome-lysosome fusion. Here, a large number of mutants called dot (defective for organelle trafficking) that were unable to replicate intracellularly because of an inability of the bacteria to alter the endocytic pathway of macrophages were isolated. The dot virulence genes encoded a large putative membrane complex that functioned as a secretion system that was able to transfer plasmid DNA from one cell to another.

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