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, 10 (1), 1-18

Role of Oxidants in Microbial Pathophysiology


Role of Oxidants in Microbial Pathophysiology

R A Miller et al. Clin Microbiol Rev.


Reactive oxidant species (superoxide, hydrogen peroxide, hydroxyl radical, hypohalous acid, and nitric oxide) are involved in many of the complex interactions between the invading microorganism and its host. Regardless of the source of these compounds or whether they are produced under normal conditions or those of oxidative stress, these oxidants exhibit a broad range of toxic effects to biomolecules that are essential for cell survival. Production of these oxidants by microorganisms enables them to have a survival advantage in their environment. Host oxidant production, especially by phagocytes, is a counteractive mechanism aimed at microbial killing. However, this mechanism may be contribute to a deleterious consequence of oxidant exposure, i.e., inflammatory tissue injury. Both the host and the microorganism have evolved complex adaptive mechanisms to deflect oxidant-mediated damage, including enzymatic and nonenzymatic oxidant-scavenging systems. This review discusses the formation of reactive oxidant species in vivo and how they mediate many of the processes involved in the complex interplay between microbial invasion and host defense.

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