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