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Res Microbiol. 1994 May;145(4):269-72.

Fever and the control of gram-negative bacteria.

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Biology Department, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla 92093-0630.


Although it seems obvious that fever has some important general adaptive value, it is still not clear by what means this function is manifested. One postulate is that febrile conditions result in the sequestration of soluble iron, effectively starving some pathogens of that essential nutrient. On the basis of our recent experiments, we propose a new mechanism for how fever serves to restrict a wide range of Gram-negative bacteria. The elevated temperature prevents the bacteria from synthesizing their protective LPS, thereby enabling serum complement to perforate and kill the invading pathogens even prior to the production of host antibodies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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