Plasmid-Specified Iron Uptake by Bacteraemic Strains of Escherichia coli

  • Peter H. Williams
  • Philip J. Warner


Although Escherichia coli is a normally harmless major aerobic component of the gut flora of a healthy individual, some strains are invasive, and able to produce extraintestinal infections. E. coli has been isolated from urinary tract infections and from cases of neonatal meningitis and bacteraemia. Smith1 reported that a significant proportion of E. coli strains associated with bacteraemia of humans and domestic animals harboured plasmids (ColV) specifying the narrow spectrum antibacterial protein colicin V. Furthermore, Cabello2 found that many E. coli strains isolated from patients with meningitis carried such ColV plasmids. It has been unequivocally shown that possession of a ColV plasmid markedly enhances the virulence of E. coli strains in comparison with plasmid-free strains in experimental infections of a number of laboratory animals1,2,3.


Iron Uptake Iron Binding Protein Neonatal Meningitis Iron Stress Iron Chelate Activity 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter H. Williams
    • 1
  • Philip J. Warner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeneticsUniversity of LeicesterLeicesterEngland

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