Legionella Pneumophila Immunity and Immunomodulation: Nature and Mechanisms

  • Herman Friedman
  • Thomas W. Klein
  • Raymond Widen
  • Catherine Newton
  • D. Kay Blanchard
  • Yoshima Yamamoto
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 239)


Legionella pneumophila is considered the etiologic agent of legionellosis and may cause severe respiratory infection in susceptible individuals, including man and guinea pigs (1–8). These organisms are fastidious opportunistic pathogens which are ubiquitously found in nature but only occasionally causes disease in man under normal circumstances. Guinea pigs are extremely susceptible to these bacteria and are widely used as an animal model for legionellosis. In contrast, rodents such as mice and rats are highly resistant to infection by these bacteria (7,8,10,11). Mice are difficult to infect with strains of Legionella highly virulent for guinea pigs. In several situations, it has been observed that Legionella may infect immunocompromised individuals, although no particular immunological lesion has been associated with acquisition of the disease (12–14). Indeed, in the first recognized outbreak of legionellosis, i.e., the upper respiratory infection in Pennsylvania State Legionnaires attending a convention in Philadelphia, specific immunologic depression was not observed although individuals who developed the disease drank more liquor, smoked more cigarettes and generally had less sleep than those companions who did not contact the disease.


Spleen Cell Migration Inhibition Factor Peripheral Blood Monocyte Cutaneous Hypersensitivity Blastogenic Response 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Herman Friedman
    • 1
  • Thomas W. Klein
    • 1
  • Raymond Widen
    • 1
  • Catherine Newton
    • 1
  • D. Kay Blanchard
    • 1
  • Yoshima Yamamoto
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medical Microbiology and ImmunologyUniversity of South Florida College of MedicineTampaUSA

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