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Biofilms: The Stronghold of Legionella pneumophila
Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion (OAHPP), Toronto, ON M9P 3T1, Canada
Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 1A8, Canada
Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, ON M5G 1X5, Canada
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 August 2013; in revised form: 7 September 2013 / Accepted: 14 October 2013 / Published: 31 October 2013
Abstract: Legionellosis is mostly caused by Legionella pneumophila and is defined as a severe respiratory illness with a case fatality rate ranging from 5% to 80%. L. pneumophila is ubiquitous in natural and anthropogenic water systems. L. pneumophila is transmitted by inhalation of contaminated aerosols produced by a variety of devices. While L. pneumophila replicates within environmental protozoa, colonization and persistence in its natural environment are also mediated by biofilm formation and colonization within multispecies microbial communities. There is now evidence that some legionellosis outbreaks are correlated with the presence of biofilms. Thus, preventing biofilm formation appears as one of the strategies to reduce water system contamination. However, we lack information about the chemical and biophysical conditions, as well as the molecular mechanisms that allow the production of biofilms by L. pneumophila. Here, we discuss the molecular basis of biofilm formation by L. pneumophila and the roles of other microbial species in L. pneumophila biofilm colonization. In addition, we discuss the protective roles of biofilms against current L. pneumophila sanitation strategies along with the initial data available on the regulation of L. pneumophila biofilm formation.
Keywords: Legionella pneumophila; legionellosis; amoeba; prozoa; multispecies biofilms
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MDPI and ACS Style
Abdel-Nour, M.; Duncan, C.; Low, D.E.; Guyard, C. Biofilms: The Stronghold of Legionella pneumophila. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14, 21660-21675.
Abdel-Nour M, Duncan C, Low DE, Guyard C. Biofilms: The Stronghold of Legionella pneumophila. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2013; 14(11):21660-21675.
Abdel-Nour, Mena; Duncan, Carla; Low, Donald E.; Guyard, Cyril. 2013. "Biofilms: The Stronghold of Legionella pneumophila." Int. J. Mol. Sci. 14, no. 11: 21660-21675.