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The gram-negative legionellae are common inhabitants of natural and man-made aquatic environments, surviving free, in biofilms, and as intracellular parasites of protozoa. Indeed, has been isolated from lakes, streams, rivers, and wet soil throughout the world and may be present within approximately 60% of large-building plumbing systems. Given the greater clinical significance of , our understanding of the legionellae, including their mechanisms of iron transport, derives mainly from studies of . Other risk factors for contracting Legionnaires’ disease infections include smoking, the male sex, advanced age, and alcoholism. The Mip protein is a surface-exposed propyl-proline isomerase that is required for the early stages of intracellular infection and for full virulence in animals, and the 60-kDa heat shock protein enhances epithelial cell invasion. Interestingly, the siderophore-like activity is observed only when the cultures are inoculated with bacteria that had been grown to log or early stationary phase. To assess the role of ferrous iron transport in physiology and pathogenesis, the author identified and mutated the gene in virulent strain 130b. The existence of multiple iron uptake systems in is quite compatible with the fact that the bacterium resides within such a variety of environments. It is likely that several iron acquisition pathways will prove to be relevant for intracellular infection and pathogenesis.

Citation: Cianciotto N. 2004. , p 372-386. In Crosa J, Mey A, Payne S, Iron Transport in Bacteria. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816544.ch24
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Image of FIGURE 1

Model of iron acquisition. See the text for details.

Citation: Cianciotto N. 2004. , p 372-386. In Crosa J, Mey A, Payne S, Iron Transport in Bacteria. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816544.ch24
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