Siderophores, iron-scavenging small molecules, are fundamental to bacterial nutrient metal acquisition and enable pathogens to overcome challenges imposed by nutritional immunity. Multimodal imaging mass spectrometry allows visualization of host-pathogen iron competition, by mapping siderophores within infected tissue. We have observed heterogeneous distributions of siderophores across infectious foci, challenging the paradigm that the vertebrate host is a uniformly iron-depleted environment to invading microbes.
Copyright © 2019 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.