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Durham University

Department of Biosciences


Publication details for Dr Karrera Djoko

Djoko, Karrera Y., Ong, Cheryl-lynn Y., Walker, Mark J. & McEwan, Alastair G. (2015). The Role of Copper and Zinc Toxicity in Innate Immune Defense against Bacterial Pathogens. Journal of Biological Chemistry 290(31): 18954-18961.

Author(s) from Durham


Zinc (Zn) and copper (Cu) are essential for optimal innate immune function, and nutritional deficiency in either metal leads to increased susceptibility to bacterial infection. Recently, the decreased survival of bacterial pathogens with impaired Cu and/or Zn detoxification systems in phagocytes and animal models of infection has been reported. Consequently, a model has emerged in which the host utilizes Cu and/or Zn intoxication to reduce the intracellular survival of pathogens. This review describes and assesses the potential role for Cu and Zn intoxication in innate immune function and their direct bactericidal function.