The induction of virulence traits by Legionella pneumophila at the post-exponential phase has been proposed to be triggered by the stringent response mediated by RelA, which triggers RpoS. We show that L. pneumophila rpoS but not relA is required for early intracellular survival and replication within human monocyte-derived macrophages and Acanthamoeba polyphaga. In addition, L. pneumophila rpoS but not relA is required for expression of the pore-forming activity. We provide evidence that RpoS plays a role in the modulation of phagosome biogenesis and in adaptation to the phagosomal microenvironment. Thus, there is no functional link between the stringent response and RpoS in the pathogenesis of L. pneumophila.