Competition for Manganese at the Host–Pathogen Interface

J. L. Kelliher, T. E. Kehl-Fie

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Transition metals such as manganese are essential nutrients for both pathogen and host. Vertebrates exploit this necessity to combat invading microbes by restricting access to these critical nutrients, a defense known as nutritional immunity. During infection, the host uses several mechanisms to impose manganese limitation. These include removal of manganese from the phagolysosome, sequestration of extracellular manganese, and utilization of other metals to prevent bacterial acquisition of manganese. In order to cause disease, pathogens employ a variety of mechanisms that enable them to adapt to and counter nutritional immunity. These adaptations include, but are likely not limited to, manganese-sensing regulators and high-affinity manganese transporters. Even though successful pathogens can overcome host-imposed manganese starvation, this defense inhibits manganese-dependent processes, reducing the ability of these microbes to cause disease. While the full impact of host-imposed manganese starvation on bacteria is unknown, critical bacterial virulence factors such as superoxide dismutases are inhibited. This chapter will review the factors involved in the competition for manganese at the host–pathogen interface and discuss the impact that limiting the availability of this metal has on invading bacteria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHost-Microbe Interactions, 2016
EditorsBrian San Francisco, Michael San Francisco
PublisherElsevier B.V.
Number of pages25
ISBN (Print)9780128093856
StatePublished - 2016

Publication series

NameProgress in Molecular Biology and Translational Science
ISSN (Print)1877-1173
ISSN (Electronic)1878-0814


  • ABC transporter
  • S100 protein
  • bacterial pathogenesis
  • calprotectin
  • infection
  • iron
  • manganese
  • nutritional immunity
  • zinc

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology


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