Temperaturedependent growth modeling of environmental and clinical Legionella pneumophila multilocus variable-number tandem-repeat analysis (MLVA) genotypes

Yehonatan Sharaby, Sarah Rodríguez-Martínez, Olga Oks, Marina Pecellin, Hila Mizrahi, Avi Peretz, Ingrid Brettar, Manfred G. Höfle, Malka Halpern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Legionella pneumophila causes waterborne infections resulting in severe pneumonia. High-resolution genotyping of L. pneumophila isolates can be achieved by multiple-locus variable-number tandem-repeat analysis (MLVA). Recently, we found that different MLVA genotypes of L. pneumophila dominated different sites in a small drinking-water network, with a genotype-related temperature and abundance regime. The present study focuses on understanding the temperature-depen dent growth kinetics of the genotypes that dominated the water network. Our aim was to model mathematically the influence of temperature on the growth kinetics of different environmental and clinical L. pneumophila genotypes and to compare it with the influence of their ecological niches. Environmental strains showed a distinct temperature preference, with significant differences among the growth kinetics of the three studied genotypes (Gt4, Gt6, and Gt15). Gt4 strains exhibited superior growth at lower temperatures (25 and 30°C), while Gt15 strains appeared to be best adapted to relatively higher temperatures (42 and 45°C). The temperature-dependent growth traits of the environmental genotypes were consistent with their distribution and temperature preferences in the water network. Clinical isolates exhibited significantly higher growth rates and reached higher maximal cell densities at 37°C and 42°C than the environmental strains. Further research on the growth preferences of L. pneumophila clinical and environmental genotypes will result in a better understanding of their ecological niches in drinking-water systems as well as in the human body.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere03295-16
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


  • Genotype
  • Growth curve
  • Growth kinetics
  • Lag phase
  • Legionella pneumophila
  • Log phase
  • MLVA
  • MLVA-8 genotyping
  • Mathematical models
  • Stationary phase
  • Temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Biotechnology
  • Ecology


Dive into the research topics of 'Temperaturedependent growth modeling of environmental and clinical Legionella pneumophila multilocus variable-number tandem-repeat analysis (MLVA) genotypes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this