Caries and gingivitis are the most prevalent oral infectious diseases of humans and are due to the accumulation of dental plaque (a microbial biofilm) on the tooth surface and at the gingival margin, respectively. Several in vitro and in vivo studies have shown that many natural components of foods and beverages inhibit the adhesion of and/or exert activity against oral bacteria. These biological activities have mainly been attributed to the polyphenol fraction. In order to explore the possibility that diet can alter the dental plaque community, in this study we evaluated the composition of the microbiota of supra- and subgingival plaque samples collected from 75 adult subjects with different drinking habits (drinkers of coffee, red wine, or water for at least 2 years) by analyzing the microbial population through the separation of PCR-amplified fragments using the denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) technique. The mean numbers of bands of the DGGE profiles from all three categories were evaluated. There were no significant differences between the two kinds of plaque collected from the control group (water drinkers), and this group showed the highest number of bands (supragingival plaque, 18.98 ± 3.16 bands; subgingival plaque, 18.7 ± 3.23 bands). The coffee and wine drinker groups generated the lowest numbers of bands for both supragingival plaque (coffee drinkers, 8.25 ± 3.53 bands; wine drinkers, 7.93 ± 2.55 bands) and subgingival plaque (coffee drinkers, 8.3 ± 3.03 bands; wine drinkers, 7.65 ± 1.68 bands). The differences between coffee drinkers or wine drinkers and the control group (water drinkers) were statistically significant. A total of 34 microorganisms were identified, and the frequency of their distribution in the three subject categories was analyzed. A greater percentage of subjects were positive for facultative aerobes when supragingival plaque was analyzed, while anaerobes were more frequent in subgingival plaque samples. It is noteworthy that the frequency of identification of anaerobes was significantly reduced when the frequencies for coffee and wine drinkers were compared with the frequencies for subjects in the control group. The DGGE profiles of the organisms in both plaque samples from all groups were generated and were used to construct dendrograms. A number of distinct clusters of organisms from water, coffee, and wine drinkers were formed. The clustering of some of the DGGE results into cohort-specific clusters implies similarities in the microbiotas within these groups and relevant differences in the microbiotas between cohorts. This supports the notion that the drinking habits of the subjects may influence the microbiota at both the supragingival and the subgingival levels.
The ability of Neisseria species to use iron compounds and to compete with iron-binding proteins was examined with deferrated defined medium and the iron chelator deferoxamine. All Neisseria species were able to assimilate a variety of ferric and ferrous iron salts. They were not able to efficiently solubilize an inorganic iron salt such as ferric nitrate, but were able to use iron chelated by citrate, oxalacetate, pyrophosphate, or nitrilotriacetate. Each of the 95 Neisseria isolates examined was able to use hemin as a sole source of iron, and most, but not all, of the isolates were able to obtain iron from hemoglobin. Heated human serum stimulated growth of all gonococci, meningococci, and some commensal Neisseria species in iron-deficient medium. All gonococci and meningococci were able to scavenge iron from 25% saturated transferrin, whereas most commensal organisms were inhibited by this iron-binding protein. The ability to compete with transferrin was specific, since partially saturated conalbumin was bacteriostatic for all Neisseria species. Although the pathogenic Neisseria species were able to compete more efficiently with transferrin for iron than were the nonpathogenic Neisseria species, no correlation was observed between the virulence of different strains or colony types of gonococci and the ability to scavenge iron in vitro from transferrin or other chelators.
Iron is required by most living systems. A great variety of means of acquisition, avenues of uptake, and methods of storage are used by pathogenic fungi to ensure a supply of the essential metal. Solubilization of insoluble iron polymers is the first step in iron assimilation. The two methods most commonly used by microorganisms for solubilization of iron are reduction and chelation. Reduction of ferric iron to ferrous iron by enzymatic or nonenzymatic means is a common mechanism among pathogenic yeasts. Under conditions of iron starvation, many fungi synthesize iron chelators known as siderophores. Two classes of compounds that function in iron gathering are commonly observed: hydroxamates and polycarboxylates. Two major responses to iron stress in fungi are a high-affinity ferric iron reductase and siderophore synthesis. Regulation of these two mechanisms at the molecular level has received attention. Uptake of siderophores is a diverse process, which varies among the different classes of compounds. Since free iron is toxic, it must be stored for further metabolic use. Polyphosphates, ferritins, and siderophores themselves have been described as storage molecules. The iron-gathering mechanisms used by a pathogen in an infected host are largely unknown and can only be posited on the basis of in vitro studies at present.
Microbial iron oxidation is an integral part of the iron redox cycle in wetlands. Nonetheless, relatively little is known about the composition and ecology of iron-oxidizing communities in the soils and sediments of wetlands. In this study, sediment cores were collected across a freshwater tidal marsh in order to characterize the iron-oxidizing bacteria (FeOB) and to link their distributions to the geochemical properties of the sediments. We applied recently designed 16S rRNA primers targeting Gallionella-related FeOB by using a nested PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) approach combined with a novel quantitative PCR (qPCR) assay. Gallionella-related FeOB were detected in most of the samples. The diversity and abundance of the putative FeOB were generally higher in the upper 5 to 12 cm of sediment than in deeper sediment and higher in samples collected in April than in those collected in July and October. Oxygen supply by macrofauna appears to be a major force in controlling the spatial and temporal variations in FeOB communities. The higher abundance of Gallionella-related FeOB in April coincided with elevated concentrations of extractable Fe(III) in the sediments. Despite this coincidence, the distributions of FeOB did not exhibit a simple relationship to the redox zonation inferred from the geochemical depth profiles.
Iron is an essential growth factor for virtually all organisms. However, iron is not readily available in most environments and microorganisms have evolved specialized mechanisms, such as the use of siderophores and high-affinity transport systems, to acquire iron when confronted with iron-limiting conditions. In general these systems are tightly regulated to prevent iron-induced toxicity and because they are quite costly to the microbe. Because of this tight regulation we chose to explore the response of Bifidobacterium breve UCC2003 to iron limitation. Through microarray and complementation analyses we identified and characterized a presumed ferrous iron uptake system, encoded by bfeUOB, from B. breve UCC2003 and exploited its regulated transcription to develop an inducible expression system for use in bifidobacteria.
iron-regulation; plasmid; probiotic
Iron is the most abundant transition metal in the human body and its bioavailability is stringently controlled. In particular, iron is tightly bound to host proteins such as transferrin to maintain homeostasis, to limit potential damage caused by iron toxicity under physiological conditions and to restrict access by pathogens. Therefore, iron acquisition during infection of a human host is a challenge that must be surmounted by every successful pathogenic microorganism. Iron is essential for bacterial and fungal physiological processes such as DNA replication, transcription, metabolism, and energy generation via respiration. Hence, pathogenic bacteria and fungi have developed sophisticated strategies to gain access to iron from host sources. Indeed, siderophore production and transport, iron acquisition from heme and host iron-containing proteins such as hemoglobin and transferrin, and reduction of ferric to ferrous iron with subsequent transport are all strategies found in bacterial and fungal pathogens of humans. This review focuses on a comparison of these strategies between bacterial and fungal pathogens in the context of virulence and the iron limitation that occurs in the human body as a mechanism of innate nutritional defense.
heme; hemoglobin; transferrin; siderophores; iron; microbial pathogenesis
Root exudate composition and quantity vary in relation to plant nutritional status, but the impact of the differences on rhizosphere microbial communities is not known. To examine this question, we performed an experiment with barley (Hordeum vulgare) plants under iron-limiting and iron-sufficient growth conditions. Plants were grown in an iron-limiting soil in root box microcosms. One-half of the plants were treated with foliar iron every day to inhibit phytosiderophore production and to alter root exudate composition. After 30 days, the bacterial communities associated with different root zones, including the primary root tips, nonelongating secondary root tips, sites of lateral root emergence, and older roots distal from the tip, were characterized by using 16S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) fingerprints generated by PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). Our results showed that the microbial communities associated with the different root locations produced many common 16S rDNA bands but that the communities could be distinguished by using correspondence analysis. Approximately 40% of the variation between communities could be attributed to plant iron nutritional status. A sequence analysis of clones generated from a single 16S rDNA band obtained at all of the root locations revealed that there were taxonomically different species in the same band, suggesting that the resolving power of DGGE for characterization of community structure at the species level is limited. Our results suggest that the bacterial communities in the rhizosphere are substantially different in different root zones and that a rhizosphere community may be altered by changes in root exudate composition caused by changes in plant iron nutritional status.
Many different species of acidophilic prokaryotes, widely distributed within the domains Bacteria and Archaea, can catalyze the dissimilatory oxidation of ferrous iron or reduction of ferric iron, or can do both. Microbially mediated cycling of iron in extremely acidic environments (pH < 3) is strongly influenced by the enhanced chemical stability of ferrous iron and far greater solubility of ferric iron under such conditions. Cycling of iron has been demonstrated in vitro using both pure and mixed cultures of acidophiles, and there is considerable evidence that active cycling of iron occurs in acid mine drainage streams, pit lakes, and iron-rich acidic rivers, such as the Rio Tinto. Measurements of specific rates of iron oxidation and reduction by acidophilic microorganisms show that different species vary in their capacities for iron oxido-reduction, and that this is influenced by the electron donor provided and growth conditions used. These measurements, and comparison with corresponding data for oxidation of reduced sulfur compounds, also help explain why ferrous iron is usually used preferentially as an electron donor by acidophiles that can oxidize both iron and sulfur, even though the energy yield from oxidizing iron is much smaller than that available from sulfur oxidation. Iron-oxidizing acidophiles have been used in biomining (a technology that harness their abilities to accelerate the oxidative dissolution of sulfidic minerals and thereby facilitate the extraction of precious and base metals) for several decades. More recently they have also been used to simultaneously remediate iron-contaminated surface and ground waters and produce a useful mineral by-product (schwertmannite). Bioprocessing of oxidized mineral ores using acidophiles that catalyze the reductive dissolution of ferric iron minerals such as goethite has also recently been demonstrated, and new biomining technologies based on this approach are being developed.
acidophiles; iron; oxidation; reduction
Iron and zinc are essential micronutrients for humans and deficiency of the two elements is widespread in the world with the highest prevalence in less developed countries. There are few data on dietary intake of iron and zinc in Uganda, and no food composition table is available. There is hardly any widely published literature that clearly documents the quality of Ugandan children's diet. Thus information of both food intake and the concentration of these trace elements in local food ingredients are needed in order to assess daily intake.
The present study focused on the iron and zinc content in selected foods and intake of the micronutrients iron and zinc among schoolchildren in Kumi District, Uganda. Over a period of 4 weeks single 24-hour dietary recall interviews were carried out on a convenience sample of 178 schoolchildren (9-15 years old). Data from the dietary recalls was used when selecting foods for chemical analysis.
Results from this study showed that the iron concentrations varied, and were high in some cereals and vegetables. The zinc concentrations in foods generally corresponded with results from other African countries (Mali and Kenya). Data from the 24-hour dietary recall showed that the daily Recommended Nutrient Intake (RNI) was met for iron but not for zinc.
The schoolchildren of Kumi district had a predominantly vegetable based diet. Foods of animal origin were consumed occasionally. The iron content in the selected foods was high and variable, and higher than in similar ingredients from Kenya and Mali, while the zinc concentrations were generally in accordance with reported values. The total daily zinc (mg) intake does not meet the daily RNI. The iron intake is adequate according to RNI, but due to iron contamination and reduced bioavailability, RNI may not be met in a vegetable based diet. More studies are needed to investigate possible sources of contamination.
Zinc; iron; Uganda; Kumi District; micronutrients; 24-hour recall
Microbial metagenomes are DNA samples of the most abundant, and therefore most successful organisms at the sampling time and location for a given cell size range. The study of microbial communities via their DNA content has revolutionized our understanding of microbial ecology and evolution. Iron availability is a critical resource that limits microbial communities' growth in many oceanic areas. Here, we built a database of 2319 sequences, corresponding to 140 gene families of iron metabolism with a large phylogenetic spread, to explore the microbial strategies of iron acquisition in the ocean's bacterial community. We estimate iron metabolism strategies from metagenome gene content and investigate whether their prevalence varies with dissolved iron concentrations obtained from a biogeochemical model. We show significant quantitative and qualitative variations in iron metabolism pathways, with a higher proportion of iron metabolism genes in low iron environments. We found a striking difference between coastal and open ocean sites regarding Fe2+ versus Fe3+ uptake gene prevalence. We also show that non-specific siderophore uptake increases in low iron open ocean environments, suggesting bacteria may acquire iron from natural siderophore-like organic complexes. Despite the lack of knowledge of iron uptake mechanisms in most marine microorganisms, our approach provides insights into how the iron metabolic pathways of microbial communities may vary with seawater iron concentrations.
Relationships between community composition of the iron-reducing Geobacteraceae, pollution levels, and the occurrence of biodegradation were established for an iron-reducing aquifer polluted with landfill leachate by using cultivation-independent Geobacteraceae 16S rRNA gene-targeting techniques. Numerical analysis of denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) profiles and sequencing revealed a high Geobacteraceae diversity and showed that community composition within the leachate plume differed considerably from that of the unpolluted aquifer. This suggests that pollution has selected for specific species out of a large pool of Geobacteraceae. DGGE profiles of polluted groundwater taken near the landfill (6- to 39-m distance) clustered together. DGGE profiles from less-polluted groundwater taken further downstream did not fall in the same cluster. Several individual DGGE bands were indicative of either the redox process or the level of pollution. This included a pollution-indicative band that dominated the DGGE profiles from groundwater samples taken close to the landfill (6 to 39 m distance). The clustering of these profiles and the dominance by a single DGGE band corresponded to the part of the aquifer where organic micropollutants and reactive dissolved organic matter were attenuated at relatively high rates.
Anaerobic, nitrate-dependent microbial oxidation of ferrous iron was recently recognized as a new type of metabolism. In order to study the occurrence of three novel groups of ferrous iron-oxidizing, nitrate-reducing bacteria (represented by strains BrG1, BrG2, and BrG3), 16S rRNA-targeted oligonucleotide probes were developed. In pure-culture experiments, these probes were shown to be suitable for fluorescent in situ hybridization, as well as for hybridization analysis of denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) patterns. However, neither enumeration by in situ hybridization nor detection by the DGGE-hybridization approach was feasible with sediment samples. Therefore, the DGGE-hybridization approach was combined with microbiological methods. Freshwater sediment samples from different European locations were used for enrichment cultures and most-probable-number (MPN) determinations. Bacteria with the ability to oxidize ferrous iron under nitrate-reducing conditions were detected in all of the sediment samples investigated. At least one of the previously described types of bacteria was detected in each enrichment culture. MPN studies showed that sediments contained from 1 × 105 to 5 × 108 ferrous iron-oxidizing, nitrate-reducing bacteria per g (dry weight) of sediment, which accounted for at most 0.8% of the nitrate-reducing bacteria growing with acetate. Type BrG1, BrG2, and BrG3 bacteria accounted for an even smaller fraction (0.2% or less) of the ferrous iron-oxidizing, nitrate-reducing community. The DGGE patterns of MPN cultures suggested that more organisms than those isolated thus far are able to oxidize ferrous iron with nitrate. A comparison showed that among the anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria, organisms that have the ability to oxidize ferrous iron also account for only a minor fraction of the population.
A number of trace elements are required by man, but clear-cut evidence of deficiency has been observed for only iodine and iron. Despite the fact no evidence exists that human diets may be deficient in trace minerals other than iron and iodine, there is an increasing tendency to add more and more minerals to vitamin-mineral preparations. Since potassium iodide is a mandatory constituent of table salt in Canada, iron is apparently the only trace element which may not be consumed in adequate amounts under Canadian conditions, and whose addition to dietary supplements for sale to the general public can be justified. It is suggested that trace elements other than iron should not be advertised to the general public, but should be administered only on the advice of a physician, who is in a position to judge the merit of available products in each specific situation.
Iron is an essential trace element and plays a number of vital roles in biological system. It also leads the chains of pathological actions if present in excess and/or present in free form. Major portion of iron in circulation is associated with transferrin, a classical iron transporter, which prevent the existence of free iron. The fraction of iron which is free of transferrin is known as “non transferrin bound iron”. Along with the incidence in iron over loaded patient non transferrin bound iron has been indicated in patients without iron overload. It has been suggested as cause as well as consequence in a number of pathological conditions. The major organs influenced by iron toxicity are heart, pancreas, kidney, organs involved in hematopoiesis etc. The most commonly suggested way for iron mediated pathogenesis is through increased oxidative stress and their secondary effects. Generation of free oxygen radicals by iron has been well documented in Fenton chemistry and Haber–Weiss reaction. Non transferrin bound iron has obvious chance to generate the free reactive radicals as it is not been shielded by the protective carrier protein apo transferrin. The nature of non transferrin bound iron is not clear at present time but it is definitely a group of heterogenous iron forms free from transferrin and ferritin. A variety of analytical approaches like colorimetry, chromatography, fluorimetry etc. have been experimented in different research laboratories for estimation of non transferrin bound iron. However the universally accepted gold standard method which can be operated in pathological laboratories is still to be developed.
Non transferrin bound iron; Oxidative stress; Haber–Weiss reaction; Fenton chemistry; Transferrin; Apo transferrin
The availability of ferric iron for microbial reduction as directly determined by the activity of iron-reducing organisms was compared with its availability as determined by a newly developed chemical assay for microbially reducible iron. The chemical assay was based on the reduction of poorly crystalline ferric iron by hydroxylamine under acidic conditions. There was a strong correlation between the extent to which hydroxylamine could reduce various synthetic ferric iron forms and the susceptibility of the iron to microbial reduction in an enrichment culture of iron-reducing organisms. When sediments that contained hydroxylamine-reducible ferric iron were incubated under anaerobic conditions, ferrous iron accumulated as the concentration of hydroxylamine-reducible ferric iron declined over time. Ferrous iron production stopped as soon as the hydroxylamine-reducible ferric iron was depleted. In anaerobic incubations of reduced sediments that did not contain hydroxylamine-reducible ferric iron, there was no microbial iron reduction, even though the sediments contained high concentrations of oxalate-extractable ferric iron. A correspondence between the presence of hydroxylamine-reducible ferric iron and the extent of ferric iron reduction in anaerobic incubations was observed in sediments from an aquifer and in fresh- and brackish-water sediments from the Potomac River estuary. The assay is a significant improvement over previously described procedures for the determination of hydroxylamine-reducible ferric iron because it provides a correction for the high concentrations of solid ferrous iron which may also be extracted from sediments with acid. This is a rapid, simple technique to determine whether ferric iron is available for microbial reduction.
Knowledge about the relationship between microbial community structure and hydrogeochemistry (e.g., pollution, redox and degradation processes) in landfill leachate-polluted aquifers is required to develop tools for predicting and monitoring natural attenuation. In this study analyses of pollutant and redox chemistry were conducted in parallel with culture-independent profiling of microbial communities present in a well-defined aquifer (Banisveld, The Netherlands). Degradation of organic contaminants occurred under iron-reducing conditions in the plume of pollution, while upstream of the landfill and above the plume denitrification was the dominant redox process. Beneath the plume iron reduction occurred. Numerical comparison of 16S ribosomal DNA (rDNA)-based denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) profiles of Bacteria and Archaea in 29 groundwater samples revealed a clear difference between the microbial community structures inside and outside the contaminant plume. A similar relationship was not evident in sediment samples. DGGE data were supported by sequencing cloned 16S rDNA. Upstream of the landfill members of the β subclass of the class Proteobacteria (β-proteobacteria) dominated. This group was not encountered beneath the landfill, where gram-positive bacteria dominated. Further downstream the contribution of gram-positive bacteria to the clone library decreased, while the contribution of δ-proteobacteria strongly increased and β-proteobacteria reappeared. The β-proteobacteria (Acidovorax, Rhodoferax) differed considerably from those found upstream (Gallionella, Azoarcus). Direct comparisons of cloned 16S rDNA with bands in DGGE profiles revealed that the data from each analysis were comparable. A relationship was observed between the dominant redox processes and the bacteria identified. In the iron-reducing plume members of the family Geobacteraceae made a strong contribution to the microbial communities. Because the only known aromatic hydrocarbon-degrading, iron-reducing bacteria are Geobacter spp., their occurrence in landfill leachate-contaminated aquifers deserves more detailed consideration.
Synovial iron deposition associated with rheumatoid disease may result in the production of highly reactive oxygen free radicals, leading to tissue damage. This chain of events can be interrupted by iron chelation. Families of strong iron (III) chelators have been tested for their iron scavenging properties in vitro and their effects assessed in vivo using a rat model of inflammation. All the chelators competed successfully for iron with apotransferrin, and some removed up to 34% of iron from ferritin. The best anti-inflammatory effects were achieved with the most hydrophilic chelators and those which chelated iron most avidly. Activity was dependent on dose. The route of administration was also an important factor with lower affinity chelators. This work introduces a range of simple bidentate iron chelators, which under certain conditions exceed desferrioxamine in their iron scavenging abilities, and some of which, in this simple animal model, approach indomethacin in their anti-inflammatory capabilities.
Iron is an essential cofactor in a number of critical biochemical reactions, and as such, its acquisition, storage, and metabolism is highly regulated in most organisms. The obligate intracellular bacterium, Chlamydia trachomatis experiences a developmental arrest when iron within the host is depleted. The nature of the iron starvation response in Chlamydia is relatively uncharacterized because of the likely inefficient method of iron depletion, which currently relies on the compound deferoxamine mesylate (DFO). Inefficient induction of the iron starvation response precludes the identification of iron-regulated genes. This report evaluated DFO with another iron chelator, 2,2′-bipyridyl (Bpdl) and presented a systematic comparison of the two across a range of criteria. We demonstrate that the membrane permeable Bpdl was superior to DFO in the inhibition of chlamydia development, the induction of aberrant morphology, and the induction of an iron starvation transcriptional response in both host and bacteria. Furthermore, iron starvation using Bpdl identified the periplasmic iron-binding protein-encoding ytgA gene as iron-responsive. Overall, the data present a compelling argument for the use of Bpdl, rather than DFO, in future iron starvation studies of chlamydia and other intracellular bacteria.
Chlamydia; iron; deferoxamine; bipyridyl; transcription; persistence
Iron is an essential element for the survival of microorganisms in vitro and in vivo, acting as a cofactor of several enzymes and playing a critical role in host-parasite relationships. Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis is a parasite that is widespread in the new world and considered the major etiological agent of American tegumentary leishmaniasis. Although iron depletion leads to promastigote and amastigote growth inhibition, little is known about the role of iron in the biology of Leishmania. Furthermore, there are no reports regarding the importance of iron for L. (V.) braziliensis.
In this study, the effect of iron on the growth, ultrastructure and protein expression of L. (V.) braziliensis was analyzed by the use of the chelator 2,2-dipyridyl. Treatment with 2,2-dipyridyl affected parasites' growth in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Multiplication of the parasites was recovered after reinoculation in fresh culture medium. Ultrastructural analysis of treated promastigotes revealed marked mitochondrial swelling with loss of cristae and matrix and the presence of concentric membranar structures inside the organelle. Iron depletion also induced Golgi disruption and intense cytoplasmic vacuolization. Fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis of tetramethylrhodamine ester-stained parasites showed that 2,2-dipyridyl collapsed the mitochondrial membrane potential. The incubation of parasites with propidium iodide demonstrated that disruption of mitochondrial membrane potential was not associated with plasma membrane permeabilization. TUNEL assays indicated no DNA fragmentation in chelator-treated promastigotes. In addition, two-dimensional electrophoresis showed that treatment with the iron chelator induced up- or down-regulation of proteins involved in metabolism of nucleic acids and coordination of post-translational modifications, without altering their mRNA levels.
Iron chelation leads to a multifactorial response that results in cellular collapse, starting with the interruption of cell proliferation and culminating in marked mitochondrial impairment in some parasites and their subsequent cell death, whereas others may survive and resume proliferating.
American tegumentary leishmaniasis (ATL) is a neglected disease that is widely distributed in the Americas. The protozoan parasite Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis is one of the main causative agents of ATL, being responsible for the development of different clinical manifestations of the disease, which ranges from self-healing cutaneous lesions to disseminated and mucocutaneous forms. Because iron is essential for the survival and growth of Leishmania, as it is required for colonization of macrophages and development of lesions in mice, several chelating compounds have been tested for their effects on the growth of these parasites. In the present work, treatment of L. (V.) braziliensis with the iron chelator 2,2-dipyridyl inhibited the growth of promastigote forms in a dose- and time-dependent manner. However, multiplication of the parasites was recovered after reinoculation in fresh culture medium. The iron chelator also induced mitochondrial dysfunction and altered expression of proteins involved in metabolism of nucleic acids and coordination of post-translational modifications. The events described above ultimately caused the death of some parasites, most likely due to mitochondrial dysfunction, whereas others adapted and survived, suggesting a plasticity or resilience of the mitochondrion in this parasite.
Iron (Fe) deficiency affects an estimated 2 billion people worldwide and Fe supplements are a common corrective strategy. The impact of Fe deficiency and Fe supplementation on the complex microbial community of the child gut was studied using in vitro colonic fermentation models inoculated with immobilized fecal microbiota. Chyme media (all Fe chelated by 2,2’-dipyridyl to 26.5 mg Fe L-1) mimicking Fe deficiency and supplementation were continuously fermented. Fermentation effluent samples were analyzed daily on the microbial composition and metabolites by qPCR, 16S rRNA gene 454-pyrosequencing and HPLC. Low Fe conditions (1.56 mg Fe L-1) significantly decreased acetate concentrations and subsequent Fe supplementation (26.5 mg Fe L-1) restored acetate production. High Fe following normal Fe conditions had no impact on the gut microbiota composition and metabolic activity. During very low Fe conditions (0 . 9 m g F e L-1 or Fe chelated b y 2,2’-dipyridyl), a decrease of Roseburia spp./Eubacterium rectale, Clostridium Cluster IV members and Bacteroides spp. was observed while Lactobacillus spp. and Enterobacteriaceae increased consistent with a decrease of butyrate (-84%) and propionate (-55%). The strong dysbiosis of the gut microbiota together with decrease of main gut microbiota metabolites observed with very low iron conditions could weaken the barrier effect of the microbiota and negatively impact gut health.
Iron deficiency; gut microbiota; butyrate; fermentation model
Iron is an essential trace-element for most organisms. However, because high concentration of free intracellular iron is cytotoxic, cells have developed complex regulatory networks that keep free intracellular iron concentration at optimal range, allowing the incorporation of the metal into iron-using enzymes and minimizing damage to the cell. We built a mathematical model of the network that controls iron uptake and usage in the bacterium Escherichia coli to explore the dynamics of iron flow. We simulate the effect of sudden decrease or increase in the extracellular iron level on intracellular iron distribution. Based on the results of simulations we discuss the possible roles of the small RNA RyhB and the Fe–S cluster assembly systems in the optimal redistribution of iron flows. We suggest that Fe–S cluster assembly is crucial to prevent the accumulation of toxic levels of free intracellular iron when the environment suddenly becomes iron rich.
Iron assimilation by Neisseria meningitidis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae has been shown to be important to their growth and virulence. Iron acquisition in vitro was studied in an agar diffusion assay employing the iron-binding protein conalbumin. The ability of various iron compounds to alter the growth-inhibitory effect of conalbumin was investigated. On an equimolar iron basis, citrate-containing iron compounds were most effective; hemin was slightly less effective; ferrous sulfate and ferrous ammonium sulfate were even less effective; and the ferric compounds, ferric nitrate, ferric chloride, and ferric dextran (Imferon), were least effective. The results suggested that, as with Escherichia coli and certain other bacteria, the Neisseria spp. may utilize a citrate-mediated iron transport system. Microbial siderophores were also tested for their ability to relieve the growth-inhibitory effect of conalbumin. Two phenolate siderophores and Desferal enhanced growth inhibition in the deferrated form, but were inactive in the ferrated form. Several trihydroxamates of the ferrichrome family and coprogen were inactive in either the deferrated or ferrated forms. Of the 12 different siderophores tested, only the dihydroxamates (schizokinen, arthrobactin, and aerobactin) were stimulatory, but then only in the ferrated forms. Apparently, even though those siderophores could be utilized as specific iron transport agents by the Neisseria spp., they could not compete with conalbumin for iron under these assay conditions.
Chromium (VI) is toxic to microorganisms and can inhibit the biodegradation of organic pollutants in contaminated soils. We used microcosms amended with either glucose or protein (to drive bacterial community change) and Fe(III) (to stimulate iron-reducing bacteria) to study the effect of various concentrations of Cr(VI) on anaerobic bacterial communities. Microcosms were destructively sampled based on microbial activity (measured as evolution of CO2) and analyzed for the following: (i) dominant bacterial community by PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of the 16S rRNA gene; (ii) culturable Cr-resistant bacteria; and (iii) enrichment of iron-reducing bacteria of the Geobacteraceae family by real-time PCR. The addition of organic C stimulated the activities of anaerobic communities. Cr(VI) amendment resulted in lower rates of CO2 production in glucose microcosms and a slow mineralization phase in protein-amended microcosms. Glucose and protein amendments selected for different bacterial communities. This selection was modified by the addition of Cr(VI), since some DGGE bands were intensified and new bands appeared in Cr(VI)-amended microcosms. A second dose of Cr(VI), added after the onset of activity, had a strong inhibitory effect when higher levels of Cr were added, indicating that the developing Cr-resistant communities had a relatively low tolerance threshold. Most of the isolated Cr-resistant bacteria were closely related to previously studied Cr-resistant anaerobes, such as Pantoea, Pseudomonas, and Enterobacter species. Geobacteraceae were not enriched during the incubation. The studied Cr(VI)-contaminated soil contained a viable anaerobic bacterial community; however, Cr(VI) altered its composition, which could affect the soil biodegradation potential.
Iron is an essential nutrient not freely available to microorganisms infecting mammals. To overcome iron deficiency, bacteria have evolved various strategies including the synthesis and secretion of high-affinity iron chelators known as siderophores. The siderophores produced and secreted by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, exomycobactins, compete for iron with host iron-binding proteins and, together with the iron-regulated ABC transporter IrtAB, are required for the survival of M. tuberculosis in iron deficient conditions and for normal replication in macrophages and in mice. This study further characterizes the role of IrtAB in M. tuberculosis iron acquisition. Our results demonstrate a role for IrtAB in iron import and show that the amino terminus domain of IrtA is a flavin-adenine dinucleotide-binding domain essential for iron acquisition. These results suggest a model in which the amino terminus of IrtA functions to couple iron transport and assimilation.
Microbial ferrous iron [Fe(II)] oxidation leads to the formation of iron-rich macroscopic aggregates (“iron snow”) at the redoxcline in a stratified lignite mine lake in east-central Germany. We aimed to identify the abundant Fe-oxidizing and Fe-reducing microorganisms likely to be involved in the formation and transformation of iron snow present in the redoxcline in two basins of the lake that differ in their pH values. Nucleic acid- and lipid-stained microbial cells of various morphologies detected by confocal laser scanning microscopy were homogeneously distributed in all iron snow samples. The dominant iron mineral appeared to be schwertmannite, with shorter needles in the northern than in the central basin samples. Total bacterial 16S rRNA gene copies ranged from 5.0 × 108 copies g (dry weight)−1 in the acidic central lake basin (pH 3.3) to 4.0 × 1010 copies g (dry weight)−1 in the less acidic (pH 5.9) northern basin. Total RNA-based quantitative PCR assigned up to 61% of metabolically active microbial communities to Fe-oxidizing- and Fe-reducing-related bacteria, indicating that iron metabolism was an important metabolic strategy. Molecular identification of abundant groups suggested that iron snow surfaces were formed by chemoautotrophic iron oxidizers, such as Acidimicrobium, Ferrovum, Acidithiobacillus, Thiobacillus, and Chlorobium, in the redoxcline and were rapidly colonized by heterotrophic iron reducers, such as Acidiphilium, Albidiferax-like, and Geobacter-like groups. Metaproteomics yielded 283 different proteins from northern basin iron snow samples, and protein identification provided a glimpse into some of their in situ metabolic processes, such as primary production (CO2 fixation), respiration, motility, and survival strategies.