FRANCIS W. CHANDLER, D.V.M., Ph.D.; IVAN L. ROTH, Ph.D.; CAREY S. CALLAWAY, B.S.; JANA L. BUMP, M.S.; BERENICE M. THOMASON, B.S.; ROBERT E. WEAVER, M.D., Ph.D.
Scanning and transmission electron microscopic studies were done on five strains of flagellated Legionella pneumophila cultured for 1 to 3 days on charcoal yeast extract agar or yeast extract broth. Ultrastructurally, each strain consisted of pleomorphic, flagellated bacilli, many of which showed the typical pinching type of division as seen with other gram-negative bacteria. Most of the flagellated organisms, regardless of the strain, had a single, relatively straight or undulant polar flagellum, about 25 nm in diameter. In some instances, retraction of the bacterial cell membranes made the flagellar basal bodies (bulbs) visible when observed by transmission electron microscopy. The bulbous nature of these bodies appears to be different from the basal structures described for Escherichia coli and other gram-negative bacteria. Long "streamers," previously observed with the light microscope, appear to be fimbriae (or pili) that have a diameter approximately half that of the flagella and are somewhat coiled and bent at irregular intervals.
CHANDLER FW, ROTH IL, CALLAWAY CS, et al. Flagella on Legionnaires' Disease Bacteria: Ultrastructural Observations. Ann Intern Med. 1980;93:711–714. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-93-5-711
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1980;93(5):711-714.
Infectious Disease, Pulmonary/Critical Care.
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