As iron is vital for all cells, host sequestration of iron provides a significant barrier to bacterial infection. The absolute requirement for iron has driven the evolution of refined systems by which pathogenic bacteria such as Listeria monocytogenes can competitively acquire this element during host infection. This process is coordinated, at least partly, by the Ferric Uptake Regulator (Fur). Recent studies have identified loci within the listerial Fur-regulon and have characterized specific systems involved in iron uptake from various sources. This work has greatly advanced our knowledge of the mechanisms underpinning iron homeostasis in L. monocytogenes. A greater understanding of the molecular mechanisms by which pathogenic bacteria acquire iron is significant from both a food safety and public-health perspective.
University College Cork ->