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Microb Pathog. 2003 Nov;35(5):197-202.

Occurrence of the Yersinia high-pathogenicity island and iron uptake systems in clinical isolates of Klebsiella pneumoniae.

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Department of Microbiology, Institute of Experimental Biology, Adam Mickiewicz University, ul. Fredry 10, PoznaƄ 61-701, Poland.


The ability to acquire iron is crucial to bacteria during an infection. Thirty-four strains of Klebsiella pneumoniae isolated from clinical specimens were examined for the use of various strategies to obtain iron. The isolates employed several iron uptake mechanisms, including production of enterobactin (100%) and aerobactin (50%). Few isolates (18%) produced yersiniabactin, a siderophore encoded by the Yersinia high-pathogenicity island (HPI) despite genetic diversity of the HPI. Majority of the isolates used human transferrin (74%), lactoferrin (97%), hemoglobin (74%), and hemoglobin-haptoglobin complex (56%) as a sole source of iron. Multiple iron uptake systems may be of benefit to the bacteria during infection.

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