The genomic sequence of the accidental pathogen Legionella pneumophila

Science. 2004 Sep 24;305(5692):1966-8. doi: 10.1126/science.1099776.


We present the genomic sequence of Legionella pneumophila, the bacterial agent of Legionnaires' disease, a potentially fatal pneumonia acquired from aerosolized contaminated fresh water. The genome includes a 45-kilobase pair element that can exist in chromosomal and episomal forms, selective expansions of important gene families, genes for unexpected metabolic pathways, and previously unknown candidate virulence determinants. We highlight the genes that may account for Legionella's ability to survive in protozoa, mammalian macrophages, and inhospitable environmental niches and that may define new therapeutic targets.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Gene Transfer, Horizontal
  • Genome, Bacterial*
  • Legionella pneumophila / genetics*
  • Legionella pneumophila / pathogenicity
  • Legionella pneumophila / physiology
  • Plasmids


  • DNA, Bacterial