Morphological variety of intracellular microcolonies of Legionella species in vero cells

M. Ogawa, A. Takade, H. Miyamoto, H. Taniguchi, S. Yoshida

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Intracellular microcolonies of six Legionella species growing in Vero cells showed distinctly varied morphologies. The varieties were observed by light microscopy of Gimenez-stained, Legionella-infected Vero cells and by electron microscopy (EM). Legionella pneumophila Philadelphia-1 formed needle-shaped crystal-like microcolonies. Legionella bozemanii WIGA formed microcolonies like wool balls containing filamentous cells. In EM, these organisms proliferated in endosomes, which were adjacent to swollen rough endoplasmic reticula. Legionella oakridgensis OR-10 showed serpentine chains. Many mitochondria were observed around the microcolonies. Legionella jordanis BL-540 formed spherical moss-like microcolonies which were or were not surrounded by endoplasmic membranes. Legionella feeleii WO-44C spread throughout the cytoplasm without making clusters. Legionella dumoffii Tex-KL made big clusters that spread in the cytoplasm, a portion of which was outside the endosome membranes. These different morphologies imply diversity in modes of intracellular multiplication of Legionella spp.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)557-562
Number of pages6
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Virology


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