About this Research Topic
Pneumocystis spp. are ubiquitous atypical fungi that develop extracellularly in the alveolar cavities of mammalian lungs with a not-completely defined lifecycle. Similarly, microsporidia are a diverse group (>1,400 species) of obligate intracellular fungi, with a broad range of vertebrate and invertebrate hosts and poorly understood mechanisms of invasion, growth and reproduction. Blastocystis spp. are ubiquitous anaerobic eukaryotes that have a unique phylogenetic origin but are widely present in various mammals, including humans. All these organisms have environmental stages required for the initiation of new hosts’ infection, and were previously considered protozoa. Further controversies remain on the species structure, zoonotic potential, transmission routes, and pathogenicity/clinical significance of each organisms group. Recently, with the development of various molecular tools for identification and characterization and the availability of whole genome sequences, metagenomics tools, animal models and/or cultivation, significant progresses have been made in our understanding of the biology and epidemiology of these controversial pathogens. The present effort summaries relevant researches in this area and highlights the potential of new tools and approaches in resolving some longstanding issues regarding these three groups of neglected and opportunistic pathogens.
This Research Topic welcomes contributions dissecting the following issues:
1. Genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and genetic manipulation of the three pathogens mentioned earlier.
2. Host-pathogen interactions, pathogenicity, and immunology.
3. Molecular taxonomy, detection/diagnosis/typing, and molecular epidemiology.
4. Metabolism, drug discovery, and treatment.
The following article types are particularly welcomed: original research, research notes and reviews.
We welcome and encourage authors to submit their contributions to this exciting Research Topic.
Keywords: Pneumocystis, Microsporidia, Blastocystis, opportunistic eukaryotes, controversial pathogens
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