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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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PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 03 July 2022

Metals in Host–Microbe Interaction

Metals in Host–Microbe Interaction

The Host Perspective

(p.199) 13 Metals in Host–Microbe Interaction
Trace Metals and Infectious Diseases

Dieter Rehder

Robert E. Black

Julia Bornhorst

Rodney R. Dietert

Victor J. DiRita

Maribel Navarro

Robert D. Perry

Lothar Rink

Eric P. Skaar

Miguel C. P. Soares

Dennis J. Thiele

Fudi Wang

Günter Weiss

Inga Wessels

The MIT Press

This overview covers the role of the metal ions in infectious diseases, focusing on iron, copper, zinc, and, to a lesser extent, manganese and the metalloid selenium. Recommended dietary allowances are addressed, as are metal-based drugs for the treatment of tropical diseases. The human organism binds essential metals such as iron, manganese, copper, and zinc to specific compounds (including proteins) in order to withhold these metals from invading pathogens (“nutritional immunity”); in this way, metal binding provides resistance to infection. Selenium status can also affect the host–pathogen interaction, but pathogens have mechanisms to counteract this protective potency. Due to the epidemic proportions of tropical diseases and lack of effective treatment, drugs are being developed that are based on coordination compounds of metals, including copper, iron, ruthenium, and gold. These metals are coordinated to aromatic ligand systems which allow drug stabilization, during the drug’s transport to its target, and eventually intercalation into DNA. For malaria, the increasing resistance of the malaria parasite against the classical drug chloroquine may be overcome by employing ferrocenyl derivatives of chloroquine.

Keywords:   infectious disease, RDAs, metal-based drugs, nutritional immunity, tropical diseases, leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, malaria, coordination metal complexes

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