Research Topic

Antimicrobial Resistance Dissemination and Horizontal Gene Transfer

About this Research Topic

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) as a transferrable bacterial trait has been investigated extensively in recent years. The possibility of AMR dissemination among bacterial species has been confirmed, and dissemination routes between agricultural and medical sectors have been proposed. This has caused imminent threats: AMR can disseminate from its original point of emergence/enrichment to medical units and can spread from non-pathogenic bacteria to pathogenic bacteria, leading to life-threatening multidrug-resistant bacterial pathogens. Many horizontal gene transfer processes, including conjugation, transformation, transduction via bacteriophages have been shown to play key roles in the dissemination of AMR, which is usually encoded by antimicrobial resistance genes (ARGs) carried by mobile genetic elements- plasmids, genomic islands including SCCmec, Salmonella Genomic Island 1, Integrative and Conjugative Elements, and other autonomous or non-autonomous elements like transposons, integrons, etc. Many bioinformatical and microbiomic analyses have also been performed to elucidate AMR transfer dynamics. Despite these investigations, more efforts are needed to define cellular components involved in the dissemination of AMR along with their regulation schemes, AMR dissemination characteristics in different microbiomes (for instance, intestinal microbiomes and aquatic environments), and the role of AMR dissemination in the reduction of antibiotic susceptibility of pathogens.

The goal of this Research Topic is to deepen our understanding of the scope and dynamics of AMR dissemination in different microbiomes, the role of different horizontal gene transfer processes in AMR dissemination, the mobile genetic elements involved in AMR dissemination, the environmental factors/substances that impact the dissemination of AMR, and the cellular regulatory mechanisms that impact AMR dissemination. Ultimately, these investigations will be helpful for us in defining targets, identifying drugs, and developing methods/therapies in slowing down AMR dissemination, and eventually, let us have more time on solving the AMR problem.

Potential topics include but not limited to the following:

• Prevalence and dissemination dynamics of antimicrobial resistance in different environments (human or animal gastrointestinal tract, aquatic environments, soil, aerosols, wastewater treatment plants, etc).
• Microbiomic investigations or methodology on defining AMR dissemination.
• Horizontal gene transfer processes for AMR dissemination and the regulatory mechanisms for AMR dissemination.
• Mobile genetic elements involved in AMR dissemination, and molecular mechanisms for ARG incorporation and AMR dissemination.
• Environmental factors and substances that impact the dissemination of AMR.
• Methods to prevent/slow down AMR dissemination.
• Potential drugs and drug targets for prevention of AMR dissemination.
• Analysis of impacts of antimicrobial resistance dissemination on antibiotic efficacies and public health.


Keywords: Antimicrobial resistance; Horizontal gene transfer; Dissemination; Mobile genetic elements; Bacterial pathogenesis


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.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) as a transferrable bacterial trait has been investigated extensively in recent years. The possibility of AMR dissemination among bacterial species has been confirmed, and dissemination routes between agricultural and medical sectors have been proposed. This has caused imminent threats: AMR can disseminate from its original point of emergence/enrichment to medical units and can spread from non-pathogenic bacteria to pathogenic bacteria, leading to life-threatening multidrug-resistant bacterial pathogens. Many horizontal gene transfer processes, including conjugation, transformation, transduction via bacteriophages have been shown to play key roles in the dissemination of AMR, which is usually encoded by antimicrobial resistance genes (ARGs) carried by mobile genetic elements- plasmids, genomic islands including SCCmec, Salmonella Genomic Island 1, Integrative and Conjugative Elements, and other autonomous or non-autonomous elements like transposons, integrons, etc. Many bioinformatical and microbiomic analyses have also been performed to elucidate AMR transfer dynamics. Despite these investigations, more efforts are needed to define cellular components involved in the dissemination of AMR along with their regulation schemes, AMR dissemination characteristics in different microbiomes (for instance, intestinal microbiomes and aquatic environments), and the role of AMR dissemination in the reduction of antibiotic susceptibility of pathogens.

The goal of this Research Topic is to deepen our understanding of the scope and dynamics of AMR dissemination in different microbiomes, the role of different horizontal gene transfer processes in AMR dissemination, the mobile genetic elements involved in AMR dissemination, the environmental factors/substances that impact the dissemination of AMR, and the cellular regulatory mechanisms that impact AMR dissemination. Ultimately, these investigations will be helpful for us in defining targets, identifying drugs, and developing methods/therapies in slowing down AMR dissemination, and eventually, let us have more time on solving the AMR problem.

Potential topics include but not limited to the following:

• Prevalence and dissemination dynamics of antimicrobial resistance in different environments (human or animal gastrointestinal tract, aquatic environments, soil, aerosols, wastewater treatment plants, etc).
• Microbiomic investigations or methodology on defining AMR dissemination.
• Horizontal gene transfer processes for AMR dissemination and the regulatory mechanisms for AMR dissemination.
• Mobile genetic elements involved in AMR dissemination, and molecular mechanisms for ARG incorporation and AMR dissemination.
• Environmental factors and substances that impact the dissemination of AMR.
• Methods to prevent/slow down AMR dissemination.
• Potential drugs and drug targets for prevention of AMR dissemination.
• Analysis of impacts of antimicrobial resistance dissemination on antibiotic efficacies and public health.


Keywords: Antimicrobial resistance; Horizontal gene transfer; Dissemination; Mobile genetic elements; Bacterial pathogenesis


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

08 August 2021 Abstract
06 December 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

08 August 2021 Abstract
06 December 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

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

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