Research Topic

Bacterial Surface Glycans as the Virulence Factor and the Target for Predators

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About this Research Topic

Surface carbohydrates and glycoconjugates such as capsules (CPS), exopolysaccharides (EPS), lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or peptidoglycan (PG) serve as molecular patterns for recognition by the immune system, and also provide shields to antibiotic entry and host defence mechanisms (e.g. complement system and ...

Surface carbohydrates and glycoconjugates such as capsules (CPS), exopolysaccharides (EPS), lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or peptidoglycan (PG) serve as molecular patterns for recognition by the immune system, and also provide shields to antibiotic entry and host defence mechanisms (e.g. complement system and phagocytosis). Moreover, a high structure specificity of bacterial glycans may serve for bacterial identification, diagnostics and vaccine compounds.

On the other hand, bacterial surface molecules, especially those of carbohydrate nature are targeted by bacterial predators (phages) as one of the main receptors. Phages infect the host after a successful receptor recognition and adsorption to the cell surface. The irreversible adherence followed by genome material ejection into host cell cytoplasm must be preceded by the passage of diverse carbohydrate barriers. For that purpose bacterial viruses are equipped with various virion-associated and soluble enzymes, called polysaccharide depolymerases and lysins, that recognize, bind and degrade glycan compounds. A high specificity and degrading activity of phages enzymes make them promising antibacterials, anti-virulence agents, as well as diagnostic tools.

In this Research Topic, we are looking for reports and reviews of the most current findings on bacterial glycans biodiversity, biosynthesis, expression, structure, recognition by the immune system, as well as reports referring to phage interactions with glycan receptors, and phage-derived enzymes recognizing/degrading bacterial glycans. We welcome the submission of Original Research, Reviews and Mini-Reviews covering, but not limited to, the following topics:

1. The role of surface carbohydrates and glycoconjugates such as capsules (CPS), exopolysaccharides (EPS), lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or peptidoglycan (PG) as molecular patterns for recognition by the immune system and as virulence factors.
2. Bacterial glycans as a key target for the development of clinical diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics design.
3. The role of bacterial glycans in host-phage interactions.
4. Phage-derived glycan- recognizing/degrading proteins as promising antibacterials, anti-virulence agents, and diagnostic tools.

Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.


Keywords: Bacterial Glycans, Bacterial Virulence, Immune Response, Phage Receptor Recognition, Enzymes Degrading Bacterial Glycans


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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