About this Research Topic
Foodborne microorganisms play a pivotal role in mediating the tight relation between diet and human health from a dual perspective. In fact, notwithstanding the introduction of strict regulations and new technologies to ensure food quality and safety, foodborne pathogens continue to cause severe infections and diseases, representing a serious public health concern and leading to major industry losses. On the other hand, probiotics, defined as “live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit to the host”, positively affect human health, promoting digestion and uptake of dietary nutrients, strengthening intestinal barrier function, modulating immune response and enhancing antagonism towards pathogens.
Probiotics are crucial constituents of the intestinal microbial community (microbiota), that lives in tight symbiosis with the host (altogether defined as superorganism) and whose composition is highly dynamic and modulated by diet and by the foodborne microorganisms. Gut microbiota imbalance, however, has been associated to several gastrointestinal disorders, metabolic diseases, cancer and autoimmune diseases. Hence, understanding the complex host–microbiota crosstalk and the basis of its modulation will pave the way to develop new approaches to improve human health and well-being.
In the post-genomic era, proteomics represents a key discipline to perform high-throughput studies and identify the complex network of proteins involved in host-bacteria communication thus elucidating molecular mechanisms underlying beneficial as well as harmful effects of foodborne bacteria. Technological advancements in proteomics, mass spectrometry and bioinformatics, achieved in the last years, prompted the development of innovative analytical strategies for studying single microorganisms as well as complex microbial communities. To this end, microbial metaproteomics is fulfilling the promise to gain a more comprehensive picture, as compared to metagenomics, providing a key analytical tool to characterize microbial community functions and metabolic activities at a remarkably deep level, getting insights into their fluctuation or stability as well as their interactions with human host.
Recognizing the relevance of this field, the present Research Topic aims to recruit high-qualified scientific achievements (in the form of both Original Research articles and Review papers) focused on the impact of proteomics for the advancement of knowledge on crucial themes, which include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Role of microorganisms in food quality and safety;
- Composition of food microbiota in relation to food quality and human health benefits;
- Probiotics: mode of action and host-bacteria crosstalk;
- Exoproteome and surfaceome in the investigation of host-bacteria interactions;
- Immunomodulatory activities prompted by probiotics;
- Prebiotics – probiotics interplay;
- Stress response mechanisms in bacteria;
- Pathogenic mechanisms of foodborne pathogens;
- Metaproteomics approaches to study complex microbiological communities;
- Impact of food and diet in the modulation of human gut microbiota.
Keywords: Proteomics, Metaproteomics, Foodborne microorganisms, Probiotics, Microbiota
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