Drug limitation of the availability of iron ions for pathogenic bacteria (part 1)

А.Е. Abaturov, Т.А. Kryuchko


Most bacteria are microorganisms that require iron to support their vital functions. Iron is the most important macroelement of microorganisms acting as an electron carrier and cofactor of DNA and RNA synthesis. Most bacteria absorb iron with siderophores. Some bacteria produce hemophores (similar to siderophores) intended for obtaining iron from exogenous heme (iron protoporphyrin). Also, some representatives of the bacterial world express receptors for transferrin and lactoferrin, which allows them to utilize iron associated with these proteins. It has been established that iron excess in macroorganism is associated with the chronic course of infectious process, since high levels of iron ions contribute to the formation of biofilms of pathogenic bacteria. Violation of the bacterial supply with iron due to reduced level of available iron ions; inhibition of bacterial siderophore synthesis; use of drugs containing side­rophores conjugated with antibiotics; use of drugs containing gallium, which competitively replaces iron, can cause the death of pathogenic microorganisms and contribute to the recovery. Numerous drugs capturing iron ions are developed on the basis of siderophores. Iron chelating drugs in certain clinical cases can play a key role in determining the effectiveness of antimicrobial therapy.


pneumonia; iron; pathogenic bacteria; iron supply management


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