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FEMS Microbiol Immunol. 1988 Jan;1(1):55-60.

The effect of synthetic iron chelators on bacterial growth in human serum.

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University Department of Bacteriology and Immunology, Western Infirmary, Glasgow, U.K.


The effect of synthetic iron chelators of the 1-alkyl-3-hydroxy-2-methylpyrid-4-one class (the L1 series) and 1-hydroxypyrid-2-one (L4) on bacterial growth in human serum was compared with those of the plant iron chelators mimosine and maltol and of the microbial siderophore desferrioxamine. None of the synthetic chelators enhanced growth of 3 Gram-negative organisms (Yersinia enterocolitica, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa); in some cases they were even inhibitory. L4 strongly stimulated growth of Staphylococcus epidermidis, but the L1 series had only a marginal effect. Maltol was mildly inhibitory to all 4 bacterial species, while mimosine enhanced the growth of S. epidermidis and Y. enterocolitica but had little effect on E. coli or P. aeruginosa. Desferrioxamine enhanced the growth of all except E. coli. These results suggest that the chelators of synthetic or plant origin may carry less risk of increasing susceptibility to bacterial infection in patients undergoing chelation therapy for iron overload than does desferrioxamine, the drug currently in clinical use.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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