Iron utilization studies in Citrobacter species

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Seventy-one strains of Citrobacter were screened for iron scavenging mechanisms by biologic and chemical assays. Essentially all citrobacteria (70/71) were found to elaborate enterobactin-like siderophores by both biologic and chemical assays, however only C. koseri (C. diversus) was found to produce aerobactin. The concentration of ethylenediamine di(o-hydroxyphenylacetic acid) (EDDA) required to inhibit the growth of individual Citrobacter strains by depleting free iron ranged from 250 μg/ml to 1000 μg/ml. Iron utilization studies of selected citrobacter isolates indicated that hemin and hematin could reverse the effects of iron limitation on growth under iron-stressed conditions (1000 μg/ml of EDDA). Two C. koseri strains grown under iron-restructed conditions showed similar changes in their whole cell protein profiles including induction of high molecular mass proteins (72-83 kDa) which may play a role in iron acquisition under iron-stressed conditions. The collective results support an additional virulence-associated mechanism for C. koseri strains which may help explain the greater pathogenic potential this group has for causing serious extraintestinal disease in humans.




Khashe, S., & Janda, J. M. (1996). Iron utilization studies in Citrobacter species. FEMS Microbiology Letters, 137(2–3), 141–146.

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