Gallium protoporphyrin as an antimicrobial for non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae in COPD patients.

James M Baker, Aisha Baba Dikwa, Rajesh Shah, Simon Lea, Dave Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


AimsColonisation with non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) is common in COPD. Iron is required by bacteria for nutrition. Gallium is imported into bacteria using iron import proteins. Gallium cannot fulfill key metabolic functions, causing bactericidal effects. We tested the efficacy of gallium compounds as antimicrobials against NTHi in hemin rich conditions, and their ability to reduce NTHi induced pro-inflammatory responses in macrophages.Main methodsNTHi was cultured with the free iron analogue gallium nitrate (GaN) and heme iron analogue gallium protoporphyrin (GaPP) (0.5-4 μM; 24 h). Growth of NTHi reference strain (NCTC 12699) and 6 clinical isolates from COPD patients (including antibiotic resistant isolates) was assessed by optical density, and viability by Miles Misra. Monocyte derived macrophages (MDMs) were treated with GaPP before/after NTHi exposure. Viable intracellular NTHi was assessed by gentamicin protection assay. GaN or GaPP was added to NTHi cultures prior to culture with MDMs. Cytokine gene expression (qPCR) and protein secretion (ELISA) were measured.Key findingsNTHi growth and viability were reduced by GaPP but not GaN. GaPP inhibited growth of COPD isolates (4 μM: 87 % reduction). GaPP reduced intracellular viability of NTHi in macrophage infection models. MDM cytokine gene expression and protein secretion (TNF-α, IL-6 and CXCL8) in response to NTHi was reduced (82, 66 and 86 % for gene expression) when cultured with GaPP 4 μM.SignificanceGaPP is an effective antimicrobial for NTHi while GaN showed no effect on growth or viability. Culture of NTHi with GaPP also reduced the pro-inflammatory cytokine response in MDMs.
Original languageEnglish
JournalLife Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2022


Dive into the research topics of 'Gallium protoporphyrin as an antimicrobial for non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae in COPD patients.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this