Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

, Volume 46, Issue 4, pp 343–351 | Cite as

The functional interchangeability of enterobacterial and staphylococcal iron chelators

  • J. P. Maskell
Physiology and Growth


The functional interchangeability of staphylococcal and enterobacterial iron chelators was investigated with an indicator system in which minimally effective concentrations of ethylene diamine di-ortho-hydroxyphenyl acetic acid (EDDA) were used to inhibit the growth of indicator strains in the depth of simple agar media by making the iron unavailable. Test colonies were then applied to the surface of the media to determine whether the indicator organisms, by utilising chelators from the test colony could obtain the required iron for growth, in its vicinity.

Approximately 50% of staphylococcal strains, both S. aureus and S. epidermidis, reversed the inhibition of enterobacterial indicators, whereas almost all enterobacterial test strains, representing five genera, reversed the inhibition of the staphylococcal indicators. A purified preparation of the enterobacterial iron chelator enterochelin also reversed the inhibition of four out of the five staphylococcal indicator strains.


Iron Ethylene Agar Acetic Acid Diamine 
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Copyright information

© H. Veenman en Zonen B.V. 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. P. Maskell
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medical MicrobiologyThe London Hospital Medical CollegeLondonUK

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