Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Fundamental cellular operations, including DNA synthesis and the generation of ATP, require iron. Viruses hijack cells in order to replicate, and efficient replication needs an iron-replete host. Some viruses selectively infect iron-acquiring cells by binding to transferrin receptor 1 during cell entry. Other viruses alter the expression of proteins involved in iron homeostasis, such as HFE and hepcidin. In HIV-1 and hepatitis C virus infections, iron overload is associated with poor prognosis and could be partly caused by the viruses themselves. Understanding how iron metabolism and viral infection interact might suggest new methods to control disease.

Original publication




Journal article


Nat Rev Microbiol

Publication Date





541 - 552


Animals, Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides, Hepcidins, Homeostasis, Humans, Iron, Iron Overload, Virus Diseases, Virus Replication