, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 15-22

Metal complexes of lactoferrin and their effect on the intracellular multiplication of Legionella pneumophila

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The action of bovine lactoferrin saturated with iron, zinc and manganese on the intracellular multiplication of Legionella pneumophila in HeLa cells has been tested. The results obtained showed that lactoferrin did not influence the invasive efficiency of Legionella. The intracellular multiplication of the bacterium was inhibited by apo-lactoferrin and by lactoferrin saturated with manganese and zinc, whereas lactoferrin saturated with iron enhanced the intracellular growth. Experiments in parallel were performed with iron, manganese and zinc citrate to test the effect due to the metal ions alone. Even in this condition the addition of an iron chelate enhanced the multiplication of Legionella while the manganese chelate produced a certain inhibition.