Lactoferrin: a critical mediator of both host immune response and antimicrobial activity in response to streptococcal infections.
ACS Infect Dis. 2020 Apr 24. Epub 2020 Apr 24. PMID: 32329605
Streptococcal species are gram positive bacteria responsible for a variety of infections including pneumonia, meningitis, endocarditis, erysipelas, necrotizing fasciitis, periodontitis, skin and soft tissue infections, chorioamnionitis, funisitis, and neonatal sepsis. In response to streptococcal infections, the host innate immune system deploys a repertoire of antimicrobial and immune modulating molecules. One important molecule that is produced in response to streptococcal infections is lactoferrin. Lactoferrin has antimicrobial properties including the ability to bind iron with high affinity and sequester this important nutrient from an invading pathogen. Additionally, lactoferrin has the capacity to alter the host inflammatory response and contribute to disease outcome. This review presents the most recent published work that studies the interaction between the host innate immune protein lactoferrin and the invading pathogen, Streptococcus.