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Iron loading and disease surveillance.
  • Published Date:
    1999 May-Jun
  • Source:
    Emerg Infect Dis. 5(3):346-352.
Filetype[PDF-67.51 KB]


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  • Description:
    Iron is an oxidant as well as a nutrient for invading microbial and neoplastic cells. Excessive iron in specific tissues and cells (iron loading) promotes development of infection, neoplasia, cardiomyopathy, arthropathy, and various endocrine and possibly neurodegenerative disorders. To contain and detoxify the metal, hosts have evolved an iron withholding defense system, but the system can be compromised by numerous factors. An array of behavioral, medical, and immunologic methods are in place or in development to strengthen iron withholding. Routine screening for iron loading could provide valuable information in epidemiologic, diagnostic, prophylactic, and therapeutic studies of emerging infectious diseases.

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