Special Issue "Rickettsial Agents and Rickettsial Diseases: A No Longer Neglected Field"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2019
Dr. Gregory A. Dasch
Supervisory Microbiologist, Rickettsial Zoonoses Branch, Division of Vector-Borne Diseases, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA
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Interests: Rickettsiales and Legionellales Rickettsia, Rickettsia, Ehrlichia, Orientia, Coxiella, Anaplasma; Bartonellaceae (public health, immunology, genomics, proteomics); tick, flea, lice, and mite vectors of rickettsioses (physiology, endosymbionts, genomics, metagenomics, taxonomy and control)
Over the last two decades, it has become clear that the numerous technological advances occurring in microbiology are revolutionizing our understanding of both the expanding number of rickettsial agents that cause human, veterinary, and wildlife disease and the many relatives of these agents, which are considered symbiotic or nonpathogenic. These genomic, genetic, proteomic, metabolic, and immunological methods and insights are also changing our approaches to blood-sucking arthropods and their many parasitic arthropod relatives that feed on invertebrate and plant hosts. Some of these approaches include holistic systems biology ideas as encompassed in metagenomic and microbiome approaches as well as interactions between intrinsic endosymbionts and the pathogens superinfecting those arthropod vectors. These approaches have excited and stimulated many of our colleagues to continue working in this long-neglected field for years after their typical retirement dates. The new technical abilities and conceptual frameworks promise to allow us to address long-standing problems with rickettsial agents and rickettsial diseases and to attract new acolytes to this field; in the next 20 years, these stimuli offer the chance to completely remove the term “neglected” from this field of investigation. The recent advances using these approaches are already having some impact on public health including “one health”, epidemiology, and diagnostics but, unfortunately, minimal impact on new approaches to treatment of the rickettsioses and control of their vectors. One can only hope that a similar revolution will occur in these fields as has occurred in microbiology and vector biology.
As a consequence, I believe that now is the right time to make a joint effort to publish a Special Issue of cutting-edge research papers and review manuscripts in this scientifically exciting and challenging field. All the branches of research related to emerging approaches to rickettsiae and microorganisms and as vector-borne diseases (VBDs) are welcome, including the biology of vectors and pathogens, epidemiology, pathogenesis, surveillance, and control and therapy.
My personal hope is that investigators from the Americas and some international colleagues attending the upcoming 30th Meeting of the American Society for Rickettsiology at Santa Fe, New Mexico in June 2019 and VI Congreso Latinoamericano de Enfermedades Rickettsiales held in Mexicali, Mexico in November 2019 will consider publishing seminal papers describing their advances in this Special Issue. I will also solicit specific reviews from leaders in other parts of the world so that this is a global summary that will be a key source for our younger colleagues to consider when thinking about what is now possible in this important field.
I hope to hear from you soon.
Dr. Gregory A. Dasch
Manuscript Submission Information
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- Rickettsial diseases
- Arthropod vectors of rickettsioses
- Pathogen discovery