About this Research Topic
The genus streptococcus encompasses over fifty species, many of which are part of the human or animal microbiota. Certain environmental and genetic factors can trigger the onset of a range of Streptococcal diseases, which are mostly of a mild nature. However, they can also cause a number of highly invasive and devastating conditions resulting in high mortality rates. These include but are not limited to necrotizing skin and soft tissue infections (S. pyogenes, S. canis), meningitis (S. pneumoniae, S. suis), neonatal sepsis (S. agalactiae, S. canis), and endocarditis (S. mitis).
The infectivity of the pathogens is linked to a plethora of surface attached and secreted virulence factors. These virulence factors also help pathogens to escape the host immune response. Furthermore, to avoid immune recognition and killing by the respective host, the bacteria have evolved sophisticated and multifaceted adaptation strategies to the host environment, including phase variation, biofilm formation, survival within professional phagocytes, amongst others. Consequently, all these actions can result in prolonged infections with substantial host tissue damage, bacterial dissemination, and subsequent death of the host. Therefore, a detailed understanding of streptococcal pathogenic mechanisms is essential to develop new therapeutic approaches to combat these infections.
In this research topic, we welcome Original Research articles, Mini Reviews, Reviews, Hypothesis and Theory and Perspectives covering streptococcal pathogenesis in human and animal infectious diseases. Studies that shed light on strategies covering basic molecular microbiology, cellular biology, and immunology as well as animal models are highly welcome.
Keywords: streptococcus, pathogenesis, immune evasion, inflammation, innate and adaptive immunity
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