About this Research Topic
Polymicrobial communities are responsible for a number of dysbiotic and infectious diseases, and often associated with patients' reduced quality of life. This is particularly relevant in the oral cavity, where the main microbe-driven diseases (such as caries, periodontal diseases and oropharyngeal candidiasis) are triggered by pathogenic communities. Bacteria and fungi are the main colonizers of the oral microbiota, and their complex ecosystem varies on different sites (teeth, gingival tissue and mucosal surfaces), driven by nutritional, spatial, or metabolic factors, leading to highly complex and specialized communities mainly organized in biofilms. Therefore, in order to establish either symbiotic or dysbiotic stable communities, these biofilms depend on both antagonistic and synergistic interactions to cooperatively subvert host defenses, invade host cells and become more resistant to therapeutic approaches.
The mechanisms involved in such polymicrobial diseases and the host immune response are complex and affected by factors such as metabolite exploitation, immune modulation, niche optimization, and virulence induction. However, the molecular mechanisms of host-pathogen interactions involved in the transition from health to disease are yet to be fully characterized.
In this context, it is necessary to move from monomicrobial to polymicrobial models in order to answer research questions such as: i) community functions in health and disease; ii) the nature of synergistic or antagonistic interactions that will induce community virulence traits, alter the affected niche, and modulate the host immune response to promote polymicrobial disease; iii) environmental changes that can affect the molecular mechanisms of host-microbe interactions leading biofilms that transition from commensalism to pathogenesis; iv) factors that affect biofilm-related resistance to antimicrobial compounds and other therapeutic tools; v) the use of probiotics to battle pathogenic biofilms, and so on.
Therefore, the goal of this Research Topic is to put together a series of research articles attempting to elucidate the underlying mechanisms involved in oral polymicrobial diseases with a special focus in studying the inter-microbial interactions involved in improving their virulence as well as, its response to different therapeutic approaches.
We welcome original research, reviews, and brief research reports on but not limited to the following sub themes:
• Development of polymicrobial infection oral biofilm models.
• Development of co- and polymicrobial oral disease models.
• Transcriptomic, proteomic, and metabolomic analysis of communities associated with oral health and oral diseases.
• Polymicrobial-host cells interaction studies associated to periodontitis, candidiasis, or other oral diseases.
• Studies of inter-microbial interactions involved in antibiotic resistance or tolerance in oral microbes.
• The use of probiotics to battle or modulate pathogenic oral biofilms.
Keywords: Microbial Interactions, Oral Disease, Biofilm, Infection, Dysbiosis, Polymicrobial
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