Ferrous Iron Is a Significant Component of Bioavailable Iron in Cystic Fibrosis Airways

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  • Ryan C. Hunter
  • Fadi Asfour
  • Jozef Dingemans
  • Brenda L. Osuna
  • Tahoura Samad
  • Anne Malfroot
  • Pierre Cornelis
  • Dianne K. Newman

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Iron is an important environmental parameter that helps pathogens thrive in sites of infection, including those of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. Ferric iron chelation therapy has been proposed as a novel therapeutic strategy for CF lung infections, yet until now, the iron oxidation state has not been measured in the host. In studying mucus from the infected lungs of multiple CF patients from Europe and the United States, we found that ferric and ferrous iron change in concentration and relative proportion as infections progress; over time, ferrous iron comes to dominate the iron pool. This information is relevant to the design of novel CF therapeutics and, more broadly, to developing accurate models of chronic CF infections.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013


  • iron, cystic fibrosis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa

ID: 133288