The effect of desferrioxamine on the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, Yersinia enterocolitica and Streptococcus faecalis in human serum: Uptake of desferrioxamine-bound iron



Abstract Growth of Staphylococcus aureus and Yersinia enterocolitica in human serum was enhanced by addition of excess iron or of the iron-chelating drug desferrioxamine, but neither had any effect on the growth of Streptococcus faecalis. Desferrioxamine could remove iron slowly from transferrin under physiological conditions, and desferrioxamine-bound iron was taken up by S. aureus and Y. enterocolitica but not by Strep. faecalis. The results suggest that patients with iron overload undergoing chelation therapy with desferrioxamine may have an increased risk of bacterial infection.