Legionellae can infect and multiply intracellularly in both human phagocytic cells and protozoa. Growth of legionellae in the absence of protozoa has been documented only on complex laboratory media. The hypothesis upon which this study was based was that biofilm matrices, known to provide a habitat and a gradient of nutrients, might allow the survival and multiplication of legionellae outside a host cell. This study determined whether can colonize and grow in biofilms with and without an association with . The laboratory model used a rotating disc reactor at a retention time of 67 h to grow biofilms on stainless steel coupons. The biofilm was composed of , and a sp. The levels of cells present in the biofilm were monitored for 15 d, with and without the presence of , and it was found that, although unable to replicate in the absence of , was able to persist.


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