About this Research Topic
Microbial community perpetuates through a series of complex interactions with the existing biotic and abiotic factors. Most ecosystems are populated by a large number of diversified microorganisms, which interact with one another and form complex networks ranging from intraspecific to interspecific interactions and from simple short-term interactions to intricate long-term ones. These interactions occur at multiple hierarchical levels in the environment and include cell metabolic and physiological responses, e.g., chemotaxis, cell multiplication, induction of competence, biofilm formation, commensal and symbiotic relationship with higher organisms, cycling of nutrients, and pathogenicity for humans and aquatic animals.
Bacteria and viruses often occupy the same niches and get involved in interactions either directly aiding virus or indirectly aiding bacteria. Because of their interactions, phage remnants integrate into the bacterial DNA and encode virulence factors in many bacterial pathogens such as Vibrio cholerae, Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli, Corynebacterium diphtheriae, Clostridium botulinum, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pyogenes, Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, etc. Interaction between two microbial populations can positively or negatively affect one or both population as well as a neutral outcome is also possible. It was revealed that the certain gut microbiota limits the colonizing capacity, i.e., the pathogenicity of V. cholerae through a novel and independent pathway. Bacteriocins from Bacillus spp. were also found to demonstrate antimicrobial activity against different food borne pathogens. AHL lactonase (AiiA), a metallo-beta-lactamase produced by Bacillus spp., blocks quorum sensing in Gram-negative bacteria by hydrolyzing N-acyl-homoserine lactones (AHLs) and this enzyme, even being expressed in a heterologous system, demonstrated the inhibition of V. cholerae biofilm which favors survival and persistence of other pathogens in the aquatic environment and inside the hosts.
Among the large number of probiotic products in use today are bacterial spore-formers, mostly diverse species of the genus Bacillus, which are capable of preventing gastrointestinal disorders. Many beneficial effects are demonstrated from the probiotics, e.g., in vitro antagonism to the pathogens, competition with pathogens for nutrients or for adhesion sites, and stimulation of the immune system.
Continuous occurrence of such microbial interactions might have certain influences over the aquatic ecosystem that determine the microbiological quality of water. The Research Topic therefore focuses on the interactions among the aquatic microbiota that eventually cause the alteration of water quality by influencing any of its physical, chemical, or microbiological properties.
Keywords: Water borne pathogens, Microbial interaction, Biofilm, Probiotics, Water quality
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