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FASEB J. 1989 Dec;3(14):2574-82.

Bacterial adaptation to oxidative stress: implications for pathogenesis and interaction with phagocytic cells.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 27599.


During phagocytosis, phagocytic cells generate superoxide and other reactive oxygen species, which are involved in antibacterial activity. However, many bacteria possess antioxidant defenses that may explain their survival in inflammatory foci. These defenses include antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase and catalase, DNA repair systems, scavenging substrates, and competition with phagocytes for molecular oxygen. These defenses are probably coordinated, and different responses occur with different reactive oxygen species. Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium mutants have allowed the demonstration of a variety of critical genes for enzymatic defense and DNA repair, as well as an oxyR regulon system. In more complex systems, the conditions found in inflammatory foci, such as decreasing glucose and the production of lactate, enhance bacterial catalase production and resistance to hydrogen peroxide. Resistance and adaptation to phagocyte-derived oxidant stress are critical aspects of bacterial pathogenesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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