Special Issue "Toxoplasma gondii: More Insights into Host-Pathogen Interactions"

A special issue of Microorganisms (ISSN 2076-2607). This special issue belongs to the section "Parasitology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 29 February 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Hany Elsheikha
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington Campus, Leicestershire LE12 5RD, United Kingdom

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Over one-third of the world’s human population have been said to be infected with Toxoplasma gondii. Besides its substantial medical and veterinary significance, this single-cell protozoan parasite has a remarkable ability to evade very powerful host immune defense mechanisms and cause disease. Significant and rapid progress has been made in the last few years in order to discover the factors, pathways, mechanisms, and molecules that shape this complex and dynamic host–pathogen relationship. A greater understanding of the strategies and mechanisms by which this parasite can wreak havoc, shut down multiple essential functions, and reprogram host cell signalling pathways could one day open the door to developing better ways to fighting what can be life-threatening infections, particularly in immunocompromised individuals. In this Special Issue, we hope to publish reviews and research articles that capture the novel aspects of the fascinating and dynamic interaction between T. gondii and its host. Topics that will be considered include, but are not limited to, the analysis of the molecular changes in the structure or function of host cells following T. gondii infection, understanding the host response to infection or to treatment with anti-Toxoplasma drugs, the functional analysis of specific parasite gene(s), and the discovery of new virulence factors or chemical signals that maintain host–parasite interactions

Figure 1. TEM micrograph of Toxoplasma gondii tachyzoites growing inside a vacuole within the host cell.

Dr. Hany Elsheikha
Guest Editor

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. Microorganisms is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly 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 1200 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.


  • Biomarkers
  • Evolution
  • Gene editing
  • Genomics
  • Host–pathogen interactions
  • Imaging
  • Metabolomics
  • Novel therapeutic strategies
  • Proteomics
  • Single-cell measurements
  • Toxoplasma gondii
  • Transcriptomics
  • Virulence

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Label-Free Quantitative Acetylome Analysis Reveals Toxoplasma gondii Genotype-Specific Acetylomic Signatures
Microorganisms 2019, 7(11), 510; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms7110510 - 30 Oct 2019
Distinct genotypic and pathogenic differences exist between Toxoplasma gondii genotypes. For example, genotype I is highly virulent, whereas genotype II and genotype III are less virulent. Moreover, Chinese 1 genotype (ToxoDB#9) is also virulent. Here, we compare the acetylomes of genotype 1 (RH [...] Read more.
Distinct genotypic and pathogenic differences exist between Toxoplasma gondii genotypes. For example, genotype I is highly virulent, whereas genotype II and genotype III are less virulent. Moreover, Chinese 1 genotype (ToxoDB#9) is also virulent. Here, we compare the acetylomes of genotype 1 (RH strain) and Chinese 1 genotype (ToxoDB#9, PYS strain) of T. gondii. Using mass spectrometry enriched for acetylated peptides, we found a relationship between the levels of protein acetylation and parasite genotype-specific virulence. Notably, lysine acetylation was the largest (458 acetylated proteins) in RH strain, followed by PYS strain (188 acetylated proteins), whereas only 115 acetylated proteins were detected in PRU strain. Our analysis revealed four, three, and four motifs in RH strain, PRU strain and PYS strain, respectively. Three conserved sequences around acetylation sites, namely, xxxxxKAcHxxxx, xxxxxKAcFxxxx, and xxxxGKAcSxxxx, were detected in the acetylome of the three strains. However, xxxxxKAcNxxxx (asparagine) was found in RH and PYS strains but was absent in PRU strain. Our analysis also identified 15, 3, and 26 differentially expressed acetylated proteins in RH strain vs. PRU strain, PRU strain vs. PYS strain and PYS strain vs. RH strain, respectively. KEGG pathway analysis showed that a large proportion of the acetylated proteins are involved in metabolic processes. Pathways for the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites, biosynthesis of antibiotics and microbial metabolism in diverse environments were featured in the top five enriched pathways in all three strains. However, acetylated proteins from the virulent strains (RH and PYS) were more enriched in the pyruvate metabolism pathway compared to acetylated proteins from PRU strain. Increased levels of histone-acetyl-transferase and glycyl-tRNA synthase were detected in RH strain compared to PRU strain and PYS strain. Both enzymes play roles in stress tolerance and proliferation, key features in the parasite virulence. These findings reveal novel insight into the acetylomic profiles of major T. gondii genotypes and provide a new important resource for further investigations of the roles of the acetylated parasite proteins in the modulation of the host cell response to the infection of T. gondii. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxoplasma gondii: More Insights into Host-Pathogen Interactions)
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