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Trace Metals and Infectious Diseases$
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Jerome O. Nriagu and Eric P. Skaar

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780262029193

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262029193.001.0001

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Is Metal Uptake Related to Ecological Niche in the Vertebrate Host?

Is Metal Uptake Related to Ecological Niche in the Vertebrate Host?

(p.13) 2 Is Metal Uptake Related to Ecological Niche in the Vertebrate Host?
Trace Metals and Infectious Diseases

Joseph Lemire

Trevor F. Moraes

Vahid Fa Andisi

Anthony B. Schryvers

The MIT Press

There is a complex interplay between the vertebrate host and the microbes that inhabit its mucosal surfaces in their competition for essential metal ions. Mucosal surfaces in the host constitute an array of diverse ecological niches that vary substantially in the availability of metal ions from the external environment and from the host. The microbes that inhabit different mucosal surfaces vary in the degree to which they are uniquely adapted to, and are restricted to, the host mucosal environment. This chapter reviews current understanding of metal ion homeostasis in the host, the mechanisms of metal ion acquisition in microbes, and the degree to which the specific mucosal niche impacts the repertoire of metal ion acquisition mechanisms that the microbes possess.

Keywords:   competition for essential metals, vertebrate host, microbes, host mucosal environment, metal ion homeostasis in the host, metal ion acquisition in microbes

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