Logo of iaiPermissionsJournals.ASM.orgJournalIAI ArticleJournal InfoAuthorsReviewers
Infect Immun. 1988 Apr; 56(4): 721–725.
PMCID: PMC259360

Iron acquisition by Haemophilus influenzae.


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.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (1.0M), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Images in this article

Click on the image to see a larger version.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Aisen P. Some physicochemical aspects of iron metabolism. Ciba Found Symp. 1976 Dec 7;(51):1–17. [PubMed]
  • Atkin CL, Neilands JB. Rhodotorulic acid, a diketopiperazine dihydroxamic acid with growth-factor activity. I. Isolation and characterization. Biochemistry. 1968 Oct;7(10):3734–3739. [PubMed]
  • Bolin CA, Jensen AE. Passive immunization with antibodies against iron-regulated outer membrane proteins protects turkeys from Escherichia coli septicemia. Infect Immun. 1987 May;55(5):1239–1242. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Bullen JJ. The significance of iron in infection. Rev Infect Dis. 1981 Nov-Dec;3(6):1127–1138. [PubMed]
  • Dyer DW, West EP, Sparling PF. Effects of serum carrier proteins on the growth of pathogenic neisseriae with heme-bound iron. Infect Immun. 1987 Sep;55(9):2171–2175. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Eaton JW, Brandt P, Mahoney JR, Lee JT., Jr Haptoglobin: a natural bacteriostat. Science. 1982 Feb 5;215(4533):691–693. [PubMed]
  • Farley MM, Stephens DS, Mulks MH, Cooper MD, Bricker JV, Mirra SS, Wright A. Pathogenesis of IgA1 protease-producing and -nonproducing Haemophilus influenzae in human nasopharyngeal organ cultures. J Infect Dis. 1986 Nov;154(5):752–759. [PubMed]
  • Fraser DW, Darby CP, Koehler RE, Jacobs CF, Feldman RA. Risk factors in bacterial meningitis: Charleston County, South Carolina. J Infect Dis. 1973 Mar;127(3):271–277. [PubMed]
  • Grahm G, Bates GW. Approaches to the standardization of serum unsaturated iron-binding capacity. J Lab Clin Med. 1976 Sep;88(3):477–486. [PubMed]
  • Granoff DM, Basden M. Haemophilus influenzae infections in Fresno County, California: a prospective study of the effects of age, race, and contact with a case on incidence of disease. J Infect Dis. 1980 Jan;141(1):40–46. [PubMed]
  • Griffiths E, Stevenson P, Thorpe R, Chart H. Naturally occurring antibodies in human sera that react with the iron-regulated outer membrane proteins of Escherichia coli. Infect Immun. 1985 Mar;47(3):808–813. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Herrington DA, Sparling PF. Haemophilus influenzae can use human transferrin as a sole source for required iron. Infect Immun. 1985 Apr;48(1):248–251. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Kimura A, Hansen EJ. Antigenic and phenotypic variations of Haemophilus influenzae type b lipopolysaccharide and their relationship to virulence. Infect Immun. 1986 Jan;51(1):69–79. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Lawlor KM, Payne SM. Aerobactin genes in Shigella spp. J Bacteriol. 1984 Oct;160(1):266–272. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Linggood MA, Roberts M, Ford S, Parry SH, Williams PH. Incidence of the aerobactin iron uptake system among Escherichia coli isolates from infections of farm animals. J Gen Microbiol. 1987 Apr;133(4):835–842. [PubMed]
  • LOWRY OH, ROSEBROUGH NJ, FARR AL, RANDALL RJ. Protein measurement with the Folin phenol reagent. J Biol Chem. 1951 Nov;193(1):265–275. [PubMed]
  • Luckey M, Pollack JR, Wayne R, Ames BN, Neilands JB. Iron uptake in Salmonella typhimurium: utilization of exogenous siderochromes as iron carriers. J Bacteriol. 1972 Sep;111(3):731–738. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Mickelsen PA, Blackman E, Sparling PF. Ability of Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Neisseria meningitidis, and commensal Neisseria species to obtain iron from lactoferrin. Infect Immun. 1982 Mar;35(3):915–920. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Mickelsen PA, Sparling PF. Ability of Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Neisseria meningitidis, and commensal Neisseria species to obtain iron from transferrin and iron compounds. Infect Immun. 1981 Aug;33(2):555–564. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Neilands JB, Bindereif A, Montgomerie JZ. Genetic basis of iron assimilation in pathogenic Escherichia coli. Curr Top Microbiol Immunol. 1985;118:179–195. [PubMed]
  • Page WJ. Iron-Dependent Production of Hydroxamate by Sodium-Dependent Azotobacter chroococcum. Appl Environ Microbiol. 1987 Jul;53(7):1418–1424. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Paoletti LC, Blakemore RP. Hydroxamate production by Aquaspirillum magnetotacticum. J Bacteriol. 1986 Jul;167(1):73–76. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Payne SM, Finkelstein RA. The critical role of iron in host-bacterial interactions. J Clin Invest. 1978 Jun;61(6):1428–1440. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Pollack JR, Ames BN, Neilands JB. Iron transport in Salmonella typhimurium: mutants blocked in the biosynthesis of enterobactin. J Bacteriol. 1970 Nov;104(2):635–639. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Roberts M, Stull TL, Smith AL. Comparative virulence of Haemophilus influenzae with a type b or type d capsule. Infect Immun. 1981 May;32(2):518–524. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Rogers HJ. Iron-Binding Catechols and Virulence in Escherichia coli. Infect Immun. 1973 Mar;7(3):445–456. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Schwyn B, Neilands JB. Universal chemical assay for the detection and determination of siderophores. Anal Biochem. 1987 Jan;160(1):47–56. [PubMed]
  • SIMON EH, TESSMAN I. THYMIDINE-REQUIRING MUTANTS OF PHAGE T4. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1963 Sep;50:526–532. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Stull TL. Protein sources of heme for Haemophilus influenzae. Infect Immun. 1987 Jan;55(1):148–153. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Stull TL, Mack K, Haas JE, Smit J, Smith AL. A comparison of techniques for isolation of the outer membrane proteins of Haemophilus influenzae type b. Anal Biochem. 1985 Nov 1;150(2):471–480. [PubMed]
  • Stull TL, Mendelman PM, Haas JE, Schoenborn MA, Mack KD, Smith AL. Characterization of Haemophilus influenzae type b fimbriae. Infect Immun. 1984 Dec;46(3):787–796. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Warner PJ, Williams PH, Bindereif A, Neilands JB. ColV plasmid-specific aerobactin synthesis by invasive strains of Escherichia coli. Infect Immun. 1981 Aug;33(2):540–545. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • West SE, Sparling PF. Aerobactin utilization by Neisseria gonorrhoeae and cloning of a genomic DNA fragment that complements Escherichia coli fhuB mutations. J Bacteriol. 1987 Aug;169(8):3414–3421. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Wray W, Boulikas T, Wray VP, Hancock R. Silver staining of proteins in polyacrylamide gels. Anal Biochem. 1981 Nov 15;118(1):197–203. [PubMed]

Articles from Infection and Immunity are provided here courtesy of American Society for Microbiology (ASM)


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...