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ABSTRACT: Coxiella burnetii is a bacterial intracellular parasite of eucaryotic cells that replicates within a membrane-bound compartment, or "parasitophorous vacuole" (PV). With the exception of human macrophages/monocytes, the consensus model of PV trafficking in host cells invokes endolysosomal maturation culminating in lysosome fusion. C. burnetii resists the degradative functions of the vacuole while at the same time exploiting the acidic pH for metabolic activation. While at first glance the mature PV resembles a large phagolysosome, an increasing body of evidence indicates the vacuole is in fact a specialized compartment that is actively modified by the pathogen. Adding to the complexity of PV biogenesis is new data showing vacuole engagement with autophagic and early secretory pathways. In this chapter, we review current knowledge of PV nature and development, and discuss disparate data related to the ultimate maturation state of PV harboring virulent or avirulent C. burnetii lipopolysaccharide phase variants in human mononuclear phagocytes.
Advances in experimental medicine and biology 01/2012; 984:141-69. · 1.83 Impact Factor