Research Topic

Antifungals used against animal and plant pathogenic fungi

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About this Research Topic

Fungi are the principal pathogens of many plants and represent one of the major classes of bloodstream infections in animals. The remarkable evolutionary conservation of fungi is one of their great strengths as a model eukaryotic organism. This evolutionary conservation similarly constitutes the greatest ...

Fungi are the principal pathogens of many plants and represent one of the major classes of bloodstream infections in animals. The remarkable evolutionary conservation of fungi is one of their great strengths as a model eukaryotic organism. This evolutionary conservation similarly constitutes the greatest limitation to development of drugs specific to the fungus. Combating fungal diseases relies on chemotherapeutic interventions that target essential cellular functions, such as ergosterol biosynthesis, fungal cell walls, or primary metabolism. Fungal pathogens, like all microorganisms confronted with selective pressure, display a robust ability to acquire resistance to these agents. This is a common issue with both prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms but in the case of fungi, the limited repertoire of antifungal agents makes this a problem of special importance, owing to limited drug options. The modes of action of some antifungal agents used against animal and plant pathogenic fungi are identical, although many of them differ between “kingdoms”. However, the resistance mechanisms developed by the fungal pathogens are closely related, involving mainly target site mutations and active drug efflux.

The aim of the proposed Research Topic ‘Antifungals against animal and plant pathogens’ is to stimulate discussion and exchange among the fungal research communities addressing similar research questions, and to initiate cross-kingdom exchange/collaboration/thinking.

Crucial questions to be addressed in this Research Topic include: How does resistance evolve? Does the use of antifungals for crop protection open the door to development of resistance in medicine? What are the molecular mechanisms underlying resistance? What are the adaptive capacities of pathogenic fungi to avoid fungicidal activities? What impact does resistance have on current and future fungicide treatments? What are new promising modes of action?

The scope of the proposed Research Topic ‘Antifungals against animal and plant pathogens’ covers all items dealing with the interaction of antifungal compounds and pathogenic fungi, both at the molecular and cellular level, as well as physiological changes induced by the toxic compounds. Along with the physiology of drug effects, contributions discussing mechanisms of resistance to antifungals/fungicides, studies describing population surveys of resistance, the fitness cost associated with resistance would be welcomed for this Research Topic.

Original research articles, short notes as well as literature reviews and opinion papers are sought to make this Research Topic useful and timely to investigators seeking to understand chemotherapeutic control of fungi in the clinic and the field.


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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