Special Issue "Modulation of Pathogenicity and Virulence by Molecules and Nanostructures"

A special issue of Pathogens (ISSN 2076-0817).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2016)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Alexandru Mihai Grumezescu

Department of Science and Engineereing of Oxide Materials and Nanomaterials, Faculty of Applied Chemistry and Materials Science, Politehnica University of Bucharest, RO-011061, Bucharest, Romania
Website | E-Mail
Interests: synthesis and characterization of nanobiomaterials, pharmaceutical nanotechnology, drug targeting; drug delivery; anti-biofilm surfaces; nanomodified surfaces; thin films; natural products
Guest Editor
Dr. Alina Maria Holban

Microbiology Immunology Department, Faculty of Biology, University of Bucharest, Aleea Portocalelor no 1-3, 060101 Bucharest, Romania
Website | E-Mail
Interests: in vitro and in vivo bioevaluation of nanostructures; microbiology; immunology; molecular biology; alternative methods for modulating virulence; communication and behavior of microbial pathogens

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Because of the huge medical, social, industrial and economic impact, antimicrobial resistance phenomenon is currently considered an aspect of worldwide interest. Alternative therapeutic approaches are intensively studied for the design of efficient antimicrobials in order to reduce morbidity and mortality associated with the emergence of resistant pathogens. Currently, strategies aiming to modulate pathogenicity and virulence of microorganisms are of a particular interest, since it is considered that they could reduce the rate of antibiotic resistance and limit the spread of difficult to treat infections. However, the scientific progress on this field is still limited mainly due to the difficulty to find and design efficient molecules and structures that could interact efficiently with the highly complicated molecular signalling pathways that control virulence. Many molecular signalling systems are yet unknown and their study progresses slowly due to their complexity and molecular and sub-molecular scale processes that are difficult to control. In this context, the science of nanometer size materials could provide the appropriate tools both to investigate alternative methods to modulate pathogenicity and virulence, but also to improve the investigation methods for the complex microbial signalling in order to facilitate the identification of new therapeutic targets. Moreover, nanostructures are currently utilized for multiple biomedical approaches that aim to develop novel antimicrobial therapies, significant progress being made on the field of drug delivery and targeted release of antimicrobials. Nanotechnology could also be useful for the stabilization and efficiency improvement of recently identified molecules able to interfere with microbial virulence and behaviour.

This Special Issue aims to bring together the most recent and interesting advances on the field of molecular microbiology and the impact of natural (i.e., microbial and host-related) molecules in the control of pathogenicity and virulence, and to highlight the impact of nanostructures in the development of novel and efficient antimicrobial approaches by exploitation of different molecular and nanosized structures.

Dr. Alexandru Mihai Grumezescu
Dr. Alina Maria Holban
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Pathogens is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 650 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

 

Keywords

  • Molecular therapy
  • Microbial signaling
  • Host-pathogens interactions
  • Virulence modulation
  • Anti-biofilm strategies
  • Natural antimicrobials
  • Functionalized nanomaterials
  • Antimicrobial drug delivery systems
  • Nanosystems for infection control
  • Nanosized materials in molecular signaling

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Antibiotic Resistance and Virulence Phenotypes of Recent Bacterial Strains Isolated from Urinary Tract Infections in Elderly Patients with Prostatic Disease
Pathogens 2017, 6(2), 22; doi:10.3390/pathogens6020022
Received: 24 February 2017 / Revised: 18 May 2017 / Accepted: 25 May 2017 / Published: 31 May 2017
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Abstract
Acute bacterial prostatitis is one of the frequent complications of urinary tract infection (UTI). From the approximately 10% of men having prostatitis, 7% experience a bacterial prostatitis. The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of uropathogens associated with UTIs in
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Acute bacterial prostatitis is one of the frequent complications of urinary tract infection (UTI). From the approximately 10% of men having prostatitis, 7% experience a bacterial prostatitis. The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of uropathogens associated with UTIs in older patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia and to assess their susceptibility to commonly prescribed antibiotics as well as the relationships between microbial virulence and resistance features. Uropathogenic Escherichia coli was found to be the most frequent bacterial strain isolated from patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia, followed by Enterococcus spp., Enterobacter spp., Klebsiella spp., Proteus spp., Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Serratia marcescens. Increased resistance rates to tetracyclines, quinolones, and sulfonamides were registered. Besides their resistance profiles, the uropathogenic isolates produced various virulence factors with possible implications in the pathogenesis process. The great majority of the uropathogenic isolates revealed a high capacity to adhere to HEp-2 cell monolayer in vitro, mostly exhibiting a localized adherence pattern. Differences in the repertoire of soluble virulence factors that can affect bacterial growth and persistence within the urinary tract were detected. The Gram-negative strains produced pore-forming toxins—such as hemolysins, lecithinases, and lipases—proteases, siderophore-like molecules resulted from the esculin hydrolysis and amylases, while Enterococcus sp. strains were positive only for caseinase and esculin hydrolase. Our study demonstrates that necessity of investigating the etiology and local resistance patterns of uropathogenic organisms, which is crucial for determining appropriate empirical antibiotic treatment in elderly patients with UTI, while establishing correlations between resistance and virulence profiles could provide valuable input about the clinical evolution and recurrence rates of UTI. Full article
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Open AccessArticle RT-qPCR Analysis of 15 Genes Encoding Putative Surface Proteins Involved in Adherence of Listeria monocytogenes
Pathogens 2016, 5(4), 60; doi:10.3390/pathogens5040060
Received: 27 July 2016 / Revised: 27 September 2016 / Accepted: 28 September 2016 / Published: 1 October 2016
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Abstract
L. monocytogenes adherence to food-associated abiotic surfaces and the development of biofilms as one of the underlying reasons for the contamination of ready-to-eat products is well known. The over-expression of internalins that improves adherence has been noted in cells growing as attached cells
[...] Read more.
L. monocytogenes adherence to food-associated abiotic surfaces and the development of biofilms as one of the underlying reasons for the contamination of ready-to-eat products is well known. The over-expression of internalins that improves adherence has been noted in cells growing as attached cells or at elevated incubation temperatures. However, the role of other internalin-independent surface proteins as adhesins has been uncharacterized to date. Using two strains each of weakly- and strongly-adherent L. monocytogenes as platforms for temperature-dependent adherence assays and targeted mRNA analyses, these observations (i.e., sessile- and/or temperature-dependent gene expression) were further investigated. Microplate fluorescence assays of both surface-adherent strains exhibited significant (P < 0.05) adherence at higher incubation temperature (42 °C). Of the 15 genes selected for RT-qPCR, at least ten gene transcripts recovered from cells (weakly-adherent strain CW35, strongly-adherent strain 99-38) subject to various growth conditions were over expressed [planktonic/30 °C (10), sessile/30 °C (12), planktonic/42 °C (10)] compared to their internal control (16SrRNA transcripts). Of four genes overexpressed in all three conditions tested, three and one were implicated as virulence factors and unknown function, respectively. PCR analysis of six unexpressed genes revealed that CW35 possessed an altered genome. The results suggest the presence of other internalin-independent adhesins (induced by growth temperature and/or substratum) and that a group of suspect protein members are worthy of further analysis for their potential role as surface adhesins. Analysis of the molecular basis of adherence properties of isolates of L. monocytogenes from food-associated facilities may help identify sanitation regimens to prevent cell attachment and biofilm formation on abiotic surfaces that could play a role in reducing foodborne illness resulting from Listeria biofilms. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview Microbial Biofilms in Urinary Tract Infections and Prostatitis: Etiology, Pathogenicity, and Combating strategies
Pathogens 2016, 5(4), 65; doi:10.3390/pathogens5040065
Received: 26 August 2016 / Accepted: 28 November 2016 / Published: 30 November 2016
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Abstract
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are one of the most important causes of morbidity and health care spending affecting persons of all ages. Bacterial biofilms play an important role in UTIs, responsible for persistent infections leading to recurrences and relapses. UTIs associated with microbial
[...] Read more.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are one of the most important causes of morbidity and health care spending affecting persons of all ages. Bacterial biofilms play an important role in UTIs, responsible for persistent infections leading to recurrences and relapses. UTIs associated with microbial biofilms developed on catheters account for a high percentage of all nosocomial infections and are the most common source of Gram-negative bacteremia in hospitalized patients. The purpose of this mini-review is to present the role of microbial biofilms in the etiology of female UTI and different male prostatitis syndromes, their consequences, as well as the challenges for therapy Full article
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