Survival of the Q fever agent Coxiella burnetii in the phagolysosome

Trends Microbiol. 1994 Dec;2(12):476-80. doi: 10.1016/0966-842x(94)90651-3.


The Q fever agent, Coxiella burnetii, thrives in the acidic environment of the phagolysosome of the host cell. How this obligate intracellular agent manages to survive within this hostile milieu is unknown; however, several of its enzymes may eliminate or prevent the formation of toxic oxygen metabolites by the host cell. Also implicated as virulence factors are its surface lipopolysaccharide and plasmids.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acid Phosphatase / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Catalase / metabolism
  • Cell Line
  • Coxiella burnetii / enzymology*
  • Coxiella burnetii / growth & development*
  • Fibroblasts
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Lipopolysaccharides / metabolism
  • Lysosomes / microbiology*
  • Macrophages
  • Mice
  • Phagocytosis
  • Q Fever / microbiology*
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism


  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Catalase
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Acid Phosphatase