Legionella pp 323-331 | Cite as

Infection of Human Lung Tissue Explants (HLTEs) with Legionella pneumophila

  • Lina Scheithauer
  • Michael SteinertEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1921)


Legionnaires’ disease is a severe pneumonia caused by inhalation of Legionella pneumophila. Although powerful infection models ranging from monocellular host systems to mammals were developed, numerous intra- and extracellular interactions of L. pneumophila factors with human lung tissue structures remain unknown. Therefore, we developed and applied a novel infection model for Legionnaires’ disease comprising living human lung tissue explants (HLTEs). This model allows analyzing Legionella infections at a unique level of complexity and narrows the gap between current infection models and postmortem histopathology analyses of infected patients. Here we describe the infection of tumor-free pulmonary tissue samples from patients undergoing lobe- or pneumectomy because of lung cancer. The method comprises bacterial cultivation, preparation of HLTEs, and infection of HLTEs. The infected tissue samples allow to characterize tissue damage, bacterial localization, dissemination and growth kinetics, and the host’s molecular response.

Key words

Legionella pneumophila Host model Human lung infection Tissue explants Growth kinetics 



This work was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG STE 838/8-1).


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Mikrobiologie, Technische Universität BraunschweigBraunschweigGermany

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