Legionella is camouflaged within (and outside) the organism

Presence of Legionella in water networks of buildings

A relevant number of buildings (figures handled around 30%) have Legionella pneumophila at somewhere in the water system. If water maintenance of these buildings is correct there will be no outbreak because the bacteria will not grow enoughly (which is known as infective concentration)

This is due to the great resistance that has the bacteria to standard treatments as is found in the pooled water pipes forming a microscopic layer of organisms known as biofilm.

Legionella is camouflaged within human cells

Recently a study led by the Basque center of bioscience research, bioGUNE CIC, which also involved groups of the National Institute of Health (NIH) in the USA and the National Supercomputing Center of Barcelona (BSC), described a mechanism which helps to blend the aforementioned bacteria in human cells. The study, published recently in the journal PLoS Pathogens, has determined the structure of the protein of Legionella pneumophila Sidd, interference involved in cellular processes during infection.

The bacteria is able to manipulate the host cell to go unnoticed and multiply inside without being destroyed. This makes the cell releasing about 300 proteins, which in turn act on host proteins to avoid being recognized as an infectious agent and go unnoticed for the time required to multiply.

One of these proteins, Sidd regulates chemical modification involved in intracellular camouflage process. Legionella once achieved multiply Sidd protein unlocks cellular processes favor the progression of the infection.
This would help to explain why a disease that begins with symptoms so frequent as the common cold has a mortality rate as high. Hence the importance of a corrective maintenance of water facilities.

HS Consulting team