Research Topic

Antimicrobial Resistance Along the Food Chain: Are We What We Eat?

About this Research Topic

By 2050, if no appropriate measures are taken, the mortality rate due to antimicrobial resistance is projected to reach 10 million people annually, thus surpassing the current mortality rate of cancer. The World Health Organization stated that microorganisms responsible for human diseases such as tuberculosis, pneumonia, malaria, salmonella and others, are becoming increasingly resistant to antimicrobials.

Antimicrobial resistance has spread globally, and it is particularly rampant in developing countries due to the excessive use of antimicrobials in anthropogenic activities such as agriculture and food production. Thus, the problem of antimicrobial resistance is no longer confined to clinical settings but has much broader ecological implications, involving agricultural environment, human and animal food chain, and diet.

While the contribution of clinical antimicrobial use to antimicrobial resistance has been well-documented, the role of other ecological compartments with antimicrobial use to the development of antimicrobial resistance remains relatively less explored. Of particular concern is antimicrobial resistance along the human food chain, which may include reservoirs of antimicrobial resistance genes and mobile genetic elements. Horizontal gene exchange in these compartments inevitably ends up interacting with human microbiomes, both commensal and pathogenic. Understanding these antimicrobial resistance gene exchange processes along the human food chain is important for designing efficient control measures to contain antimicrobial resistance.

Therefore, to provide a balanced overview of this global problem, this Research Topic aims to attract new breakthrough research on antimicrobial resistance along the human food chain, from farm to fork. Works on antimicrobial resistance in all components of the chain are considered within this topic.

Research that applies contemporary high-throughput multi-omics approaches to reveal mechanistic insights on horizontal exchange of antimicrobial resistance genes will be welcome. Research involving novel bioinformatics methods to identify, track and predict the cell and gene dynamic under antimicrobial treatment in various dynamic microbial ecosystems such as the human gut or fermented foods, will be particularly welcome. We will consider a broad range of acceptable article types.

We would like to acknowledge the contribution of Dr Michelena to the preparation of this Topic.


Keywords: Antibiotic resistance, resistome, horizontal gene transfer, agro-food chain, functional foods, probiotics, gut microbiota, oral microbiome, animal feeds, zoonotic bacteria, whole genome sequences


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.

By 2050, if no appropriate measures are taken, the mortality rate due to antimicrobial resistance is projected to reach 10 million people annually, thus surpassing the current mortality rate of cancer. The World Health Organization stated that microorganisms responsible for human diseases such as tuberculosis, pneumonia, malaria, salmonella and others, are becoming increasingly resistant to antimicrobials.

Antimicrobial resistance has spread globally, and it is particularly rampant in developing countries due to the excessive use of antimicrobials in anthropogenic activities such as agriculture and food production. Thus, the problem of antimicrobial resistance is no longer confined to clinical settings but has much broader ecological implications, involving agricultural environment, human and animal food chain, and diet.

While the contribution of clinical antimicrobial use to antimicrobial resistance has been well-documented, the role of other ecological compartments with antimicrobial use to the development of antimicrobial resistance remains relatively less explored. Of particular concern is antimicrobial resistance along the human food chain, which may include reservoirs of antimicrobial resistance genes and mobile genetic elements. Horizontal gene exchange in these compartments inevitably ends up interacting with human microbiomes, both commensal and pathogenic. Understanding these antimicrobial resistance gene exchange processes along the human food chain is important for designing efficient control measures to contain antimicrobial resistance.

Therefore, to provide a balanced overview of this global problem, this Research Topic aims to attract new breakthrough research on antimicrobial resistance along the human food chain, from farm to fork. Works on antimicrobial resistance in all components of the chain are considered within this topic.

Research that applies contemporary high-throughput multi-omics approaches to reveal mechanistic insights on horizontal exchange of antimicrobial resistance genes will be welcome. Research involving novel bioinformatics methods to identify, track and predict the cell and gene dynamic under antimicrobial treatment in various dynamic microbial ecosystems such as the human gut or fermented foods, will be particularly welcome. We will consider a broad range of acceptable article types.

We would like to acknowledge the contribution of Dr Michelena to the preparation of this Topic.


Keywords: Antibiotic resistance, resistome, horizontal gene transfer, agro-food chain, functional foods, probiotics, gut microbiota, oral microbiome, animal feeds, zoonotic bacteria, whole genome sequences


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.

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Submission Deadlines

18 December 2020 Abstract
27 August 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

18 December 2020 Abstract
27 August 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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