Research ArticleDrug Development

Gallium disrupts bacterial iron metabolism and has therapeutic effects in mice and humans with lung infections

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science Translational Medicine  26 Sep 2018:
Vol. 10, Issue 460, eaat7520
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aat7520

eLetters is an online forum for ongoing peer review. Submission of eLetters are open to all. Please read our Terms of Service before submitting your own eLetter.

Compose eLetter

Plain text

  • Plain text
    No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Author Information
First or given name, e.g. 'Peter'.
Your last, or family, name, e.g. 'MacMoody'.
Your email address, e.g. higgs-boson@gmail.com
Your role and/or occupation, e.g. 'Orthopedic Surgeon'.
Your organization or institution (if applicable), e.g. 'Royal Free Hospital'.
Statement of Competing Interests
CAPTCHA

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.

Vertical Tabs

  • RE: Gallium disrupts bacterial iron metabolism and has therapeutic effects in mice and humans with lung infections
    • Dr Dianne Sika-Paotonu, Associate Dean (Pacific)/Senior Lecturer Pathology & Molecular Medicine, Wellington School of Medicine & Health Sciences, University of Otago, New Zealand

    To the Editor,

    I read with keen interest the article authored by Christopher H. Goss et al (1) and entitled: “GALLIUM disrupts bacterial iron metabolism and has therapeutic effects in mice and humans with lung infections”.

    This article presents a series of experiments exploring the role and activity of gallium in treating bacterial infections - an unconventional strategy that exploits a nutritional vulnerability in bacteria by targeting iron metabolism.

    Micromolar concentrations of gallium were shown to inhibit P.aeruginosa growth in sputum samples from Cystic Fibrosis patients. When gallium was combined with colistin and then separately with piperacillin/tazobactam (antipseudomonal antibiotics), synergistic antimicrobial activity was displayed. The authors also demonstrated that parenteral gallium was able to treat P.aeruginosa in a murine model of acute lung infection, increasing survival of recipients and reducing lung and blood bacterial counts.

    Another key point of interest and clinical relevance was the relatively low rate of gallium resistance development as being comparable to that demonstrated in highly effective antibiotics. Of note also was the degree of gallium-associated improvement in lung function after intravenous administration in Cystic Fibrosis patients as part of the proof-of-principle phase 1 clinical trial.

    An important consideration will be the urgent need for a larger placebo controlled study to progress this w...

    Show More
    Competing Interests: None declared.