Methods in Molecular Biology Volume 954, 2013, pp 541-551

Human Susceptibility to Legionnaires’ Disease

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Abstract

Legionella pneumophila is a facultative intracellular pathogen that is an important cause of pneumonia. Although host factors that may predispose to acquisition of Legionnaire’s Disease (LD) include comorbid illnesses (e.g., diabetes, chronic lung disease), age, male sex, and smoking, many individuals have no identifiable risk factors. Some studies suggest that genetic factors may enhance susceptibility to LD. In this chapter we discuss current techniques and scientific methods to identify genetic susceptibility factors. These genetic studies provide insight into the human immune response to intracellular pathogens and may improve strategies for treatment and vaccine development.