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Advances and Applications in Infectious Disease Aerobiology

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There is an exceedingly small group of microorganisms that are considered pathogenic in humans relative to the microbial biota - with literally just a few bacterial and viral agents that have the potential to cause disease when transmitted in aerosol form. This exclusive group of pathogens have naturally ...

There is an exceedingly small group of microorganisms that are considered pathogenic in humans relative to the microbial biota - with literally just a few bacterial and viral agents that have the potential to cause disease when transmitted in aerosol form. This exclusive group of pathogens have naturally adapted to circumvent the biological and physical rigors of airborne transport to enter the respiratory system and induce infection. The changes that take place in the microbial composition during this process, including expulsion of bioaerosols from an infected host, is a multifaceted process that ultimately effects the underlying functionality of the organism and the induction of disease in the host target. Similarly, the nature of the aerosol source can be determinative of the size distribution of the pathogenic aerosols and thus affect the pattern of initial deposition in the respiratory system and the tissue/cell types most impacted by the pathogen. The complexity of the mucosal response to infection within the respiratory system is affected not only by the number of infectious particles deposited, but the relative integrity of the microbial constituents contained in the aerosol particles. Conceptualizing and providing a description of the constitutive process of airborne disease transmission have given rise to recent research efforts using both in vitro techniques and animal models for the purposes of further defining cellular mechanisms in aerosol-initiated disease pathogenesis. The resulting disease models have shown utility in medical product evaluations targeted to protecting or ameliorating the effects from an infectious mucosal/aerosol challenge. These aerosol disease models have been and continue to be an especially important consideration in biodefense-related research studies.

This Research Topic covers numerous aspects of infectious disease aerobiology, with a focus on pathogen and host response within the context of this particular infection route. Although the majority of the approaches on this topic are anticipated to be from microbiology, complementary perspectives will be received from immunology, genomics/genetics, physiology, proteomics and aerosol science.


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