Research Topic

Molecular Adaptations of Vibrionaceae to Changing Environments

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Vibrionaceae are Gram-negative bacteria that are present in nearly all aquatic ecosystems throughout the world. They can be found in the water column, in sediments or associated with aquatic organisms. Due to this variability of habitats, it is presumed that these bacteria have, or develop, various mechanisms ...

Vibrionaceae are Gram-negative bacteria that are present in nearly all aquatic ecosystems throughout the world. They can be found in the water column, in sediments or associated with aquatic organisms. Due to this variability of habitats, it is presumed that these bacteria have, or develop, various mechanisms to adapt to diverse, challenging and changing environments and sometimes be endemic to different ecological niches.

Their capability to persist in different ecological habitats is reflected in numerous strategies to survive even in hostile environments. Mechanisms enabling horizontal gene transfer, antimicrobial resistance development, possession of different types of secretion systems, biofilm formation, modifications of cell wall structures and the ability to communicate via quorum sensing contribute to successful survival in natural aquatic environments. Whereas many vibrios are mainly environmental bacteria, some species also comprise strains that are known to cause mild or severe infections in humans and animals. Infections of humans occur through uptake of contaminated water and food, mainly through consumption of fish and fishery products or marine organisms like bivalve molluscs and crustaceans. Also extraintestinal infections, like wound or ear infections play an important role. Molecular analysis and studies of infections in higher organisms have shown that many virulence traits of human pathogens probably emerged in response to biotic and abiotic pressures in the natural environment and are important for survival in natural habitats. By entering a susceptible host organism these virulence genes provide a preadaptation against the defensive actions of the host. An important aspect is also the acquisition of different antimicrobial resistance mechanisms, including carbapenemase production, which are emerging in vibrios.

This Research Topic is dedicated to improving our knowledge and understanding of the biology, ecology and adaptation of Vibrionaceae in their natural environment and analyzing changes in response to host defense mechanisms when transitioning between different environments. Research papers are welcome that include vibrios from environmental, clinical and food sources and following the “One Health” concept analyse their prevalence, pathogenesis, virulence and multidrug resistance with an emphasis on how vibrio-host interactions can be exploited for an assessment of public health risks associated with these bacteria.


Keywords: Vibrio, Virulence Factors, Antimicrobial Resistance, Genomics, Horizontal Gene Transfer


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