About this Research Topic
The ‘One Health’ / EcoHealth approach has emerged over recent years in order to create solutions for complex scientific problems related to health, while bridging inherent gaps between academic and medical, clinical, veterinary and public health disciplines. Having been adopted in many leading institutions worldwide, this approach takes into consideration the inter-dependence of human, animal and environmental health and promotes multi-disciplinary and cross-sectoral research in a ‘holistic’ fashion, in areas such as zoonotic diseases or infections borne by food, water and other environmental vehicles. Infections acquired through environmental exposure to pathogens, mainly via the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts, constitute an ongoing global challenge for diagnosis, treatment and prevention, and are tightly linked to environmental factors. There are major scientific advances in our understanding of infections, especially due to the increased use of genomics and proteomics for studying various pathogens and as the role of the human and environmental microbiome in health and disease states, increasingly becomes evident.
Molecular diagnostics (MDx) have become an essential component of clinical and public health microbiology. MDx (e.g. quantitative PCR, multiplexing of PCR targets) allow speedy detection and quantitation of microbial nucleic acid targets with greater than ever accuracy and sensitivity. Integration of in house and commercial MDx in laboratory workflows, together with other new technologies complement and increasingly replace traditional microbiological methods. While the field of MDx continues to evolve, there are several disruptive diagnostic technologies that have now entered clinical and public health microbiology laboratories and revolutionize this field. These mainly include the so-called ‘omics’ technologies: genomics, metagenomics and proteomics, coupled with other innovative approaches such as microfluidics, point-of-impact testing, robotics and automation.
This Research Topic is developed in collaboration with the European Society for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) Study Group on Genomic and Molecular Diagnostics (ESGMD). It will attempt to collate high-quality papers (original articles as well as reviews) exploring the development and application of advanced diagnostics to enable improved diagnosis, treatment and control of various infections acquired across the One Health. Special emphasis will be placed on the role of next-generation sequencing (NGS) and its various microbiological applications: whole genome sequencing (WGS) of microbes for patho- and epi-typing of pathogens and the use of metagenomics, involving either analysis of the microbiome via (16S) amplicon sequencing approaches or whole genome metagenomics via shotgun metagenomics sequencing, to study microbial populations in clinical and environmental samples. Paper exploring other technologies such as proteomics, mainly MALDI-TOF-MS and the range of its advanced applications and rapid diagnostics are also in scope. We are especially interested in facilitating a cross-talk between various disciplines related to One Health, including basic and applied microbiology, clinical infectious diseases, public health, epidemiology and health policy, computational biology and bioinformatics, veterinary sciences and environmental health and ecology.
Keywords: One Health, Genomics, Molecular, Infection, Proteomic
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