About this Research Topic
All organisms classified within Archea, Eubacteria, and Eukarya, along with some types of viruses, have in common the presence of proteins or lipids covalently modified with glycans. Moreover, some organisms have polysaccharides composing a protective wall that isolate them from the environment. Therefore, carbohydrate-containing molecules are ubiquitously found in basically any biological system, strongly suggesting important biological roles. Pathogen and host glycans define the ligand-receptor mechanisms that assist the entrance of intracellular pathogens and contribute to the final structure of hydrolytic proteins that degrade host cells and tissues. Also, they are at the basis of the immune response by establishing immunological identity of both self-antigens and those displayed on the surface of pathogens, providing in many cases a barrier against host immunity. Thus, both pathogen and host glycans have been increasingly highlighted as key elements in establishing viral, bacterial, fungal and protozoal infections, but also as diagnostic and therapeutic targets.
It is important to highlight the role of pathogen and host glycans/glycoconjugates as key elements in the pathogenesis of infectious disease caused by a broad range of microorganisms (bacterial, parasitic, fungal, or viral). In doing so, we will address not only their biosynthesis, regulation and biological functions, but also of host and pathogen glycan-binding proteins that are fundamental in the comprehension of complex mechanisms that originate disease but also recovery.
Integrating a topic with this perspective would allow readers to visualize pathogen and host glycans as the starting point to understand infectious diseases and not as a collateral modification. By covering a broad number of microorganisms there is a great opportunity not only to highlight specific diseases, but also to create a transverse understanding of general basic mechanisms that determine the regulation and biological roles of glycans and their binding partners in different aspects of pathogenesis and the recovery of health.
By also covering diagnostic and therapeutic strategies based on glycans or glycan binding proteins, there is an opportunity to contribute with highly valuable knowledge to create technological solutions/platforms for preventing, diagnosing or treating infectious diseases.
This Research Topic will accept Original Research, Review and Perspective articles on the following themes relating to pathogen or host glycans in infectious disease:
· Biosynthesis, regulation and biological functions of pathogen/host glycans and glycan binding proteins/lectins in the pathogenesis and immune response of infectious disease.
· Glycomimicry in facilitated host entry and evasion of the host immune response.
· Normal and pathological (congenital/acquired) glycophenotypes associated with increased susceptibility to infectious disease.
· Applications of glycans and glycan-binding proteins/lectins for diagnosis and therapy of infectious disease.
Keywords: glycans, pathogens, Immune, carbohydrates, glycoproteins
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.