Cerium occurs naturally in a variety of minerals and is also generated as a fission product in nuclear reactors. Cerium and cerium compounds are used in metallurgy, manufacturing, and as chemical catalysts, and have been evaluated as antibiotics in the treatment of burn wounds (reviewed by Lansdown et al, 2003). Cerium is toxic to many bacteria, but low concentrations of cerium can stimulate growth in Escherichia coli (Ruming et al, 2002). Investigators have demonstrated that a variety of bacteria and fungi can bind soluble cerium (Johnson and Kyker, 1960).

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Johnson GT, Kyker GC. Fission-product and cerium uptake by bacteria, yeasts, and molds. Mycologia 1966;58:91-99.

 


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