Bacterial Nitrogen Cycling in the Human Body

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Surfaces of the human body exposed to the environment are heavily colonised by bacteria. The bacteria that live in these environments are frequently exposed to anoxia and to nitric oxide which is generated by the host. Dealing with these two environmental factors often involves implementing nitrogen cycle processes to (i) maintain growth and survival by respiration in the absence of oxygen, and (ii) detoxify the free radical nitric oxide. In this chapter I explore the nitrogen cycling processes relevant to the human body environment. Whilst microbial colonisation is part of the normal physiology of the human body, the body can also be exposed to pathogenic bacteria which also utilise nitrogen cycling processes. Specific sections deal with the processes and consequences of nitrogen cycling by key human pathogens Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Mycobacterium tuberculosis and the pathogenic Neisseria species N. meningitidis and N. gonorrhoeae.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNitrogen Cycling in Bacteria: Molecular Analysis
PublisherCaister Academic Press
Number of pages247
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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