Copper in microbial pathogenesis: meddling with the metal.


Journal Article (Review)

Transition metals such as iron, zinc, copper, and manganese are essential for the growth and development of organisms ranging from bacteria to mammals. Numerous studies have focused on the impact of iron availability during bacterial and fungal infections, and increasing evidence suggests that copper is also involved in microbial pathogenesis. Not only is copper an essential cofactor for specific microbial enzymes, but several recent studies also strongly suggest that copper is used to restrict pathogen growth in vivo. Here, we review evidence that animals use copper as an antimicrobial weapon and that, in turn, microbes have developed mechanisms to counteract the toxic effects of copper.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Samanovic, MI; Ding, C; Thiele, DJ; Darwin, KH

Published Date

  • February 16, 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 11 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 106 - 115

PubMed ID

  • 22341460

Pubmed Central ID

  • 22341460

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1934-6069

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.chom.2012.01.009


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States