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3. MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES
Iron acquisition is vital to microbial survival and is implicated in the virulence of many of the pathogens that reside in the cystic fibrosis (CF) lung. The multifaceted nature of iron acquisition by both bacterial and fungal pathogens encompasses a range of conserved and species-specific mechanisms, including secretion of iron-binding siderophores, utilization of siderophores from other species, release of iron from host iron-binding proteins and haemoproteins, and ferrous iron uptake. Pathogens adapt and deploy specific systems depending on iron availability, bioavailability of the iron pool, stage of infection and presence of competing pathogens. Understanding the dynamics of pathogen iron acquisition has the potential to unveil new avenues for therapeutic intervention to treat both acute and chronic CF infections. Here, we examine the range of strategies utilized by the primary CF pathogens to acquire iron and discuss the different approaches to targeting iron acquisition systems as an antimicrobial strategy.
Tyrrell, J. & Callaghan, M. (2016). Iron acquisition in the cystic fibrosis lung and potential for novel therapeutic strategies. Microbiology, vol. 162, no. 2, pg. 191-205. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.000220