About this Research Topic
In the host and natural environments, microbes often exist in intricate multispecies communities. Interactions between microbes are complex and range from competition for nutrients and niches, manifested by antagonistic behavior, to highly evolved cooperative mechanisms between different species that support their mutual growth in specific environments. In few studies, transcriptomic changes have been measured suggesting that microbial gene expression can be extensively reprogrammed by other microbes within the same niche. Other studies have shown that interspecies interactions in polymicrobial infections can influence antibiotic resistance, virulence or persistence of bacterial pathogens at the infection site, as well as altering infection outcome. One example is the interaction between the opportunistic human pathogens Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus that may cause more severe infections when found together compared with when present alone. Likewise, it has been shown that the secreted factors of P. aeruginosa can alter S. aureus susceptibility towards different antibiotics. To date, antibiotic therapies are selected to target the most relevant pathogen. However, the response of pathogens towards antimicrobials within a polymicrobial context is not fully understood. Even though evidence of competition or cooperation between bacteria that colonize the human body and the existing microbiota and other pathogens is growing, our understanding of their interactions is limited. The knowledge of bacterial-fungal interactions in co-infection scenarios is even smaller.
This Research Topic aims to increase and disseminate the knowledge about microbe–microbe, and microbe-host interactions that affect virulence and antimicrobial susceptibility of pathogens, as well as infection outcomes. A better understanding of these interactions will enable identification of more efficacious interventions for the therapy and better diagnostic approaches for these complex infections.
Specifically, we are interested in exploring:
- How relationships between different bacterial/fungal species occur during planktonic and biofilm growth
- The changes in virulence gene-expression induced by interspecies communications
- The effect of interspecies interactions on the susceptibility to antimicrobials of bacterial and fungal pathogens
- The role of quorum sensing (QS) signaling in interspecies and inter-kingdom communication
- The role of microbial interactions on human infections outcomes
- New models to study interspecies interaction during polymicrobial infections
The Research Topic welcomes article types including original research, reviews, mini-reviews and, methods.
Keywords: Microbial Community, Multispecies Interactions, Polymicrobial Infections, Biofilm-Associated Infections, Communication Signalling, Virulence Factors, Drug Susceptibility
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.