Coinoculation with Hartmannella vermiformis enhances replicative Legionella pneumophila lung infection in a murine model of Legionnaires' disease.

Infection and Immunity
J BrielandC Engleberg


The effect of inhaled amoebae on the pathogenesis of Legionnaires' disease was investigated in vivo. A/J mice, which are susceptible to replicative Legionella pneumophila infections, were inoculated intratracheally with L. pneumophila (10(6) bacteria per mouse) or were coinoculated with L. pneumophila (10(6) bacteria per mouse) and Hartmannella vermiformis (10(6) amoebae per mouse). The effect of coinoculation with H. vermiformis on bacterial clearance, histopathology, cellular recruitment into the lung, and intrapulmonary levels of cytokines including gamma interferon and tumor necrosis factor alpha was subsequently assessed. Coinoculation with H. vermiformis significantly enhanced intrapulmonary growth of L. pneumophila in A/J mice. Histopathologic and flow cytometric analysis of lung tissue demonstrated that while A/J mice inoculated with L. pneumophila alone develop multifocal pneumonitis which resolves with minimal mortality, mice coinoculated with H. vermiformis develop diffuse pneumonitis which is associated with diminished intrapulmonary recruitment of lymphocytes and mononuclear phagocytic cells and significant mortality. Furthermore, coinoculation of mice with H. vermiformis resulted in a fourfold enhancement in intra...Continue Reading


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