Iron Acquisition in Bordetella Species
Bacterial growth in vivo is the primary requirement for pathogenicity, and growth is limited by nutrient availability, which can change during the course of an infection. Iron that is essential for virtually all bacterial growth is actively withheld by mammalian defense mechanisms. Bordetella pertussis and Bordetella bronchiseptica are highly genetically related bacterial species that cause respiratory infections in mammals.
This group's long-term interests are to further the understanding of nutrient acquisition as a key virulence determinant in Bordetella species. This research is focused on understanding Bordetella iron assimilation to characterize newly identified iron transport systems and determine their importance to growth in the host. This research will define the role of key Fbp system components in Bordetella utilization of ferric siderophores and characterize an apparently novel mechanism for utilization of ferrous iron. Additionally, the researchers will investigate the means by which Bordetella cells use host neuroendocrine stress hormones to obtain the iron from transferrin and lactoferrin. MSI resources are used to generate publication quality graphics and molecular models, perform statistical analyses, and to analyze bacterial genomics data, microarray data from transcription studies, and mass spectrometry data from proteomics and metabolite studies.
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