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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2001 Jan 15;194(2):163-9.

Catecholamine inotropes as growth factors for Staphylococcus epidermidis and other coagulase-negative staphylococci.


Drugs commonly used in intensive care settings were assayed for their ability to affect the growth of Staphylococcus epidermidis in a minimal salts medium containing 30% serum. Of 28 compounds tested, the inotropic catecholamines adrenaline, dobutamine, dopamine, isoprenaline and noradrenaline significantly stimulated bacterial growth. These drugs, but not structurally similar compounds lacking a dihydroxybenzoyl moiety (such as tyramine, phenylephrine and salbutamol), were able to remove iron from iron-saturated transferrin and to supply transferrin-bound 55Fe to S. epidermidis cells. Similar results were observed with a range of coagulase-negative staphylococci associated with line infections, but not with Staphylococcus aureus (including MRSA).

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