, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 53-60
Date: 07 Jan 2009

Iron acquisition by Pseudomonas aeruginosa in the lungs of patients with cystic fibrosis

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Abstract

The bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa is commonly isolated from the general environment and also infects the lungs of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). Iron in mammals is not freely available to infecting pathogens although significant amounts of extracellular iron are available in the sputum that occurs in the lungs of CF patients. P. aeruginosa has a large number of systems to acquire this essential nutrient and many of these systems have been characterised in the laboratory. However, which iron acquisition systems are active in CF is not well understood. Here we review recent research that sheds light on how P. aeruginosa obtains iron in the lungs of CF patients.