About this Research Topic
Bacteria known generically as flavobacterium (Phylum Bacteroidetes, Class Flavobacteriia, family Flavobactereaceae) are well known for their ubiquitous distribution in nature, metabolic diversity, and in some cases pathogenicity in animals, particularly fish. The cold-water disease associated with Flavobacterium psychrophilum as well as infections by Flavobacterium columnare cause millions of dollars of losses in aquaculture each year, whilst infections with these and other flavobacteria cause losses in fish hatcheries and with wild fish. The ongoing outbreak of Elizabethkingia anophelis has sickened nearly 100 humans in the midwest region of the United States since 2015, representing the largest one epidemic so far in the world.
Pathogenic and/or opportunistic infections caused by flavobacteria in fish, birds, dogs and humans are severe and difficult to be treated. Flavobacterial pathogenesis mechanisms remain a mystery due to their complicated and understudied genetics and lack of the efficient molecular manipulation methods.
Further development of molecular tools in flavobacteria is warranted. Recent discoveries demonstrate many novel features in flavobacteria: gliding motility proteins are involved in secretion of virulent factors; biofilm formation and/or adhesion to the host tissue surface are critical for successful pathogenesis; comparative genome analysis provides insights in multi-drug resistance, pathogenesis mechanisms as well as the evolution traits of virulence factors in flavobacteria.
Transcriptome profiling and physiological studies in iron metabolism reveal intimate interactions with flavobacterial hosts (i.e. insect vectors of malaria) and their possible pathogenicity. Some flavobacteria can efficiently degrade the plant polysaccharides. This Research Topic (consisting of original research articles, commentaries, opinion papers and reviews) will cover advances in the fields for understanding the physiological, biochemical and molecular aspects of flavobacteria and/or their associated hosts:
• Novel tools for genetic manipulation of flavobacteria
• Physiology and metabolism of flavobacteria
• Flavobacterial pathogenesis mechanisms
• Gliding motility and secretion system
• “Omics” analysis of flavobacterial interaction with hosts and epidemiology
Keywords: Flavobacteriaceae, pathogens, epidemiology, gliding, secretion
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