Legionellosis is a potentially fatal infectious disease caused by the bacterium Legionella pneumophila and other legionella species. Two distinct clinical and epidemiological syndromes are associated with Legionella species: Legionnaires' disease is the more severe form of the infection, which may involve pneumonia, and Pontiac fever is a milder respiratory illness.
The pathogenesis of L. pneumophila is derived from its growth within lung macrophages. One of the L. pneumophila's type IV secretion systems, the Dot/Icm secretion system, is of critical importance for its ability to replicate and to cause disease. The Dot/Icm substrates modulate multiple host cell processes and in particular, redirect trafficking of the L. pneumophila phagosome and mediate its conversion into an ER-derived organelle competent for intracellular bacterial replication. L. pneumophila also manipulates host cell death and survival pathways in a way that allows continued intracellular replication.|