To determine whether Coxiella burnetti is able to survive within free-living ameoba.
When C. burnetii was co-cultivated with the free-living amoeba species Acanthamoeba castellanii.
Viable bacteria were detected for 18 days. Microscopic studies confirmed the presence of bacteria within vacuoles, some of which appeared to be spore-like forms.
These results indicate that free-living amoebae could provide an intracellular niche for the spore formation and survival of C. burnetii in the environment.
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