About this Research Topic
Apart from genetics and physiology, our understanding of other important aspects of the biological life, such as host-pathogen interactions stayed at its infancy for many years. Back then, many infectious diseases lacked appropriate animal models that could be used to unravel the nature of such interactions. However in the last two decades, several unconventional animal models, namely, Acanthamoeba castellanii, Dictyostelium discoideum, fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster), Caenorhabditis elegans, Dugesia japonica, zebrafish (Danio rerio), and other higher vertebrates (other than mice) have been increasingly used to study infectious diseases and understand the mechanisms of disease development and progression. The use of model organisms in bacterial and viral infectious disease research was further supported by recent advancements in the field of forward and reverse genetics, where both the host and its pathogen can be genetically manipulated at low cost and with minimal effort. The feasibility of manipulating various animal models helps in generating variant strains that could be utilized in (i) uncovering the role of particular host or bacteria/virus factors in the infection process, (ii) understanding different mechanisms of tissue invasion intracellular establishment, pathogen dissemination, deciphering host defense mechanisms and immune strategies to fight-off invading pathogens, and most importantly identifying novel virulence factors associated with pathogenesis. Collectively, this promoted our understanding of host-pathogen interactions and opened-up for the identification of novel drug therapeutic targets and vaccine development.
In this Research Topic, we owe to shed more light on the use of unconventional model organisms as a platform for advancement in infectious disease research that is related to bacteria and viruses and address novel groundbreaking findings in host-pathogen interaction studies. This will, in turn, lend a hand to unveil novel mechanisms of infection and disease progression and establish new methods of disease treatment and prevention. Therefore, we invite submissions of original or review research articles that address host-pathogen interactions, infectious disease progression, disease treatment and prevention, drug screening, and vaccine development, using unconventional animal models.
Keywords: Unconventional Animal Models, Viruses, Bacteria, Genetic Screening, Virulence Factors, Intracellular Establishment, Host Pathogen Interactions, Acute and Chronic Infections, Drug Targets, Prevention, Treatment
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