The critical role of iron in some clinical infections

  • J. J. Bullen
  • C. G. Ward
  • H. J. Rogers


The role of iron in certain clinical infections is reviewed. In normal persons the antibacterial and antifungal properties of blood and other tissue fluids cannot be maintained unless there are exceptionally low levels of available iron. This is controlled by the presence of the unsaturated iron-binding proteins, transferrin and lactoferrin. In several clinical conditions an abnormal availability of iron is responsible for fatal septicaemia. This is because the phagocytic system is overwhelmed by rapidly growing organisms when iron is freely available.


Iron Internal Medicine Critical Role Clinical Condition Transferrin 
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Copyright information

© Friedr. Vieweg & Sohn Verlagsgesellschaft mbH 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. J. Bullen
    • 1
  • C. G. Ward
    • 1
  • H. J. Rogers
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryUniversity of Miami School of MedicineMiamiUSA
  2. 2.National Institute for Medical ResearchLondonUK

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