Research Topic

The Molecular Mechanisms of Antibiotic Resistance in Aquatic Pathogens

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About this Research Topic

The prevalence of multidrug-resistant pathogens is a potential worldwide threat. Antibiotics have been misused not only in clinical settings but also in farming practices. A striking example is the overuse of antibiotics in aquacultures, which is currently one of the major sources of antibiotic resistance. A ...

The prevalence of multidrug-resistant pathogens is a potential worldwide threat. Antibiotics have been misused not only in clinical settings but also in farming practices. A striking example is the overuse of antibiotics in aquacultures, which is currently one of the major sources of antibiotic resistance. A prospective solution to control the emergence of antibiotic-resistant pathogens requires adapted concentrations of antibiotics for their elimination. This would help to prevent considerable economic losses due to an increasing amount of antibiotic-resistant pathogens, impacting human and animal health. Thus, the hurdle to control pathogens with fewer antibiotics, but with higher efficacy to avoid further environmental contaminations lies before us.
The current understanding of the antibiotic resistance mechanisms was mainly derived from human infections. Many multidrug-resistant pathogens seem to have an increased efflux pump activity, enabling the removal of antibiotics and thus reducing the intracellular antibiotic concentration. Alternatively, some pathogens may possess the plasmid-encoded beta-lactamase capable of degrading penicillin. The current strategy, to overcome these resistance mechanisms, is the development of inhibitors capable of maintaining the intracellular antibiotic concentration levels at a lethal dose. Although these strategies achieve significant success with human pathogens, it does not seem to be as straightforward in aquacultures. This is mainly due to the high cost of these inhibitors and the complexity of the ecosystem containing various types of pathogens, e.g. the genus of Edwardsiella, Aeromonas, and Vibrios, but also due to varying mechanisms of resistance toward the same type of antibiotic by different pathogens. Therefore, it is essential to gain a comprehensive understanding of aquatic pathogen antibiotic resistance mechanisms, which is currently still largely unexplored.
In this Research Topic, we aim to address the antibiotic resistance of aquatic pathogens. Research on biological processes affecting antibiotic resistance, such as two-component regulatory systems, quorum sensing, and biofilm formation may be included. Additionally, we also welcome studies on antibiotic resistance related genes or proteins, as well as a novel hypothesis or intervention strategies.

This Research Topic will provide a platform for:
a) Original Research articles that should focus primarily on the elucidation of molecular mechanisms, such as the regulation, interaction networks, novel phenotypes or on the interaction between antibiotic resistant aquatic pathogens and the host. This may also include any of the ‘omics’-related research that gives insight into the signature of aquatic pathogens.

b) Methods – articles that are novel in terms of possible treatment or intervention strategies that relieve the current burden of countering against multidrug-resistant bacteria.

c) Reviews, Mini-Reviews or Perspectives - that highlight important work over the decades and provide a balanced perspective on how future studies should be carried out based on current research gaps.

d) Brief Research Reports – preliminary findings or negative results with scientifically valid data.


Keywords: Aquatic Pathogens, Antibiotic Resistance, Mechanisms, Multidrug Resistance, Prevention Strategies


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