These bacterium, which are related to Legionella, the order of bacteria known to cause lung diseases such as "Legionnaires' disease" in both animals and humans, live in a type of spherical amoebae known as Thecofilosea. Though it's not yet known if these specific bacteria are vectors for disease, the research team is currently working on sequencing their complete genome. It's hoped that a fuller understanding of these bacteria will help not only in understanding how Legionellales bacteria are related amongst each other, but also clarifying how these bacteria interact with their hosts. In future, this could lead to a more complete understanding of how these bacteria infect hosts, which could help in preventing outbreaks of Legionella related lung diseases.
For those interested in reading the full writeup of the researcher's results, the study has been published open-access in the journal Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology.
‘Pokemonas’ live in round amoebae, similar to Pokémon, which are caught inside balls in the popular video gameportal.uni-koeln.de
Novel Endosymbionts in Rhizarian Amoebae Imply Universal Infection of Unrelated Free-Living Amoebae by LegionellalesLegionellales-infected water is a frequent cause of local outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease and Pontiac fever. Decontaminations are difficult because Legionellales reproduce in eukaryotic microorganisms (protists). Most often, Legionellales have been isolated from amoebae; however, the...www.frontiersin.org