Cover photograph (Copyright © 2006, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.): Pseudocolored scanning electron micrograph (magnification, ×7,800) showing a Vero cell infected with Coxiella burnetii, an obligate intracellular pathogen and the agent of human Q fever. The lumen of the lysosome-like parasitophorous vacuole was exposed using a dry-cleave method to reveal numerous pleomorphic bacteria. C. burnetii genes involved in remodeling this vacuole to promote robust growth are likely conserved among disparate C. burnetii isolates. (Image provided by Elizabeth Fischer of the Rocky Mountain Laboratories Microscopy Unit.) (See related article on page 2309.)
Vero Cells: The Vero lineage was isolated from kidney epithelial cells extracted from an African green monkey (Chlorocebus sp.; formerly called Cercopithecus aethiops, this group of monkeys has been split into several different species). The lineage was developed on 27 March 1962, by Yasumura and Kawakita at the Chiba University in Chiba, Japan. The original cell line was named “Vero” after an abbreviation of “Verda Reno”, which means “green kidney” in esperanto, while “vero” itself means “truth” also in Esperanto. Esperanto is a so called “universal language” created by L. Zamenhof in 1887 as an attempt to create an auxillary language with no ties to extant languages in nature.
Coxiella Burnetii is a small Gram-negative bacterium which is known to be highly resistant to environmental stess. This includes high temperature, osmotic pressure, and UV light. These characteristics are attributed to the SCV variant (small cell variant) form of C. burnetii. The organism exists in a biphasic cycle, between SCV and LCV, SCV is the dormant small cell variant, while LCV is replicatively active. It can survive disinfectants, and the conditions in the phagolysosome.