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Infect Immun. Apr 1988; 56(4): 721–725.
PMCID: PMC259360

Iron acquisition by Haemophilus influenzae.

Abstract

The mechanisms for acquisition of iron by Haemophilus influenzae and their role in pathogenesis are not known. Heme and nonheme sources of iron were evaluated for their effect on growth of type b and nontypable strains of H. influenzae in an iron-restricted, defined medium. All 13 strains acquired iron from heme, hemoglobin, hemoglobin-haptoglobin, and heme-hemopexin. Among nonheme sources of protein-bound iron, growth of H. influenzae was enhanced by partially saturated human transferrin but not by lactoferrin or ferritin. Purified ferrienterochelin and ferridesferrioxamine failed to provide iron to H. influenzae, and the supernatants of H. influenzae E1a grown in iron-restricted medium failed to enhance iron-restricted growth of siderophore-dependent strains of Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhimurium, and Arthrobacter terregens. Marked alterations in the profile of outer membrane proteins of H. influenzae were observed when the level of free iron was varied between 1 microM and 1 mM. Catechols were not detected in the supernatants of strain E1a; however, iron-related hydroxamate production was detected by two biochemical assays. We conclude that the sources of iron for H. influenzae are diverse. The significance of hydroxamate production and iron-related outer membrane proteins to H. influenzae iron acquisition is not yet clear.

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Selected References

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