Folia Microbiologica

, Volume 58, Issue 6, pp 503-513

First online:

Role of oxidative stress in infectious diseases. A review

  • Miroslav PohankaAffiliated withFaculty of Military Health Sciences, University of Defence Email author 

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Oxidative stress plays a dual role in infections. Free radicals protect against invading microorganisms, and they can also cause tissue damage during the resulting inflammation. In the process of infection, there is generation of reactive species by myeloperoxidase, NADPH oxidase, and nitric oxide synthase. On the other hand, reactive species can be generated among others, by cytochrome P450, some metals, and xanthine oxidase. Some pathologies arising during infection can be attributed to oxidative stress and generation of reactive species in infection can even have fatal consequences. This article reviews the basic pathways in which reactive species can accumulate during infectious diseases and discusses the related health consequences.