About this Research Topic
Shiga toxin-converting bacteriophages (called also Stx phages) belong to the group of lambdoid phages. Their genomes, apart from containing genes necessary for phage development, carry genes coding for Shiga toxins. These toxins are major virulence factors of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), including the most virulent subset of these strains, enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC). Effective production of Shiga toxins occurs only after Stx prophage induction. Infections with STEC, and particularly EHEC, can be dangerous, and the methods of treatment of patients are restricted as many antibiotics cause prophage induction. Therefore, understanding mechanisms of development of Stx phages are crucial not only for basic science, but also for development of novel anti-STEC drugs and potential methods of prevention of effects of STEC infection.
This Research Topic is devoted to Stx phages. Both original research and review articles are welcome, provided they are focused on Stx bacteriophages. Manuscripts describing any aspects of Stx phage biology can be submitted if they provide a significant contribution to our knowledge on this group of bacteriophages. In particular, the following sub-sections of the Research Topic are planned:
- mechanisms of the control of Stx phage development,
- factors influencing Stx prophage induction,
- regulation of Stx phage gene expression,
- Stx phage-host cell interactions,
- isolation and characterization of Stx phages from animal farms and natural environment,
- biodiversity of Stx phages,
- epidemiology of STEC infections in relation to Stx phages,
- novel and optimized methods of detection and identification of Stx phages,
- development of novel anti-STEC therapies related to Stx phages.
Nevertheless, the Research Topic is not restricted to these fields, and other topics related to Stx bacteriophages can be included.
Submitted manuscripts should go beyond the simple description of new genomes and basic phylogenetic studies. Genome Announcement and descriptive studies without a clear biological hypothesis will not be considered for peer-review.
Keywords: Shiga toxin, Stx bacteriophage, lambdoid phages, enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli, prophage induction
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.