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Rev Latinoam Microbiol. 2005 Jul-Dec;47(3-4):102-11.

[Antimicrobial mechanisms and potential clinical application of lactoferrin].

[Article in Spanish]

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Centro de Investigación en Alimentación y Desarrollo A.C. Coordinación de Ciencia de los Alimentos, Sonora.


Lactoferrin (Lf) is an iron binding multifunctional glycoprotein that is present in several mucosal secretions like milk, tears and saliva. Lf is also an abundant component of the specific granules of neutrophils and can be released into the serum upon neutrophil degranulation. One of the functions of this protein is the transport of metals, but it is also an important component of the non-specific immune system. Human and bovine Lfs display a broad antimicrobial spectrum against Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria, fungi and several viruses. While the iron-binding properties were originally believed to be solely responsible for the host defense properties ascribed to lactoferrin, it is now known that other mechanisms contribute to the antimicrobial role of this glycoprotein. This review gives an overview of the knowledge of these mechanisms and the potential clinical applications of Lf against infections.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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