Special Issue "Harnessing Host-Pathogen-Microbiota Interactions for Sustainable Disease Management"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2021) | Viewed by 2965

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Tobias Weil
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Fondazione Edmund Mach, Italy
Interests: microbial ecology; host–pathogen systems; vector-borne diseases; microbiome-based diseases control
Dr. Valentina Tagliapietra
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Fondazione Edmund Mach, Italy
Interests: community ecology; host–pathogen systems; vector-borne zoonotic diseases; rodent-borne zoonotic diseases; eco-epidemiology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Pathogens transmitted by arthropods represent a global problem because they can affect plants, animals and humans, causing substantial economic losses and health concerns. Recent studies highlighted the importance of the interplay between the host and its microbial community (namely, the holobiont) in the context of the susceptibility and transmission of pathogens; however, these interactions are still poorly understood. Although the vast majority of this complex community is mutualistic or commensal, some of the indigenous microbes can confer resistance to or promote infection by pathogens and are commonly referred to as pathobionts.

Understanding microbiome stability and resilience to perturbating factors, how the host discriminates pathogens from beneficial microbes, and how the pathogen in turn impacts its host and microbial community dynamics are essential concepts to help define novel microbiome-based opportunities to reduce vector capacity and the ability to transmit infectious disease.

The aim of this Special Issue is to highlight recent advances that provide insights into the interplay between arthropod vectors, microbiota, and pathogens (bacteria, fungi, and viruses), which bear great potential to pave the way for innovative sustainable disease management strategies. This includes, but is not limited to, studies related to vector-borne diseases of agricultural crops, humans, and animals.

Research articles incorporating a new approach or providing novel information as well as review articles, short notes, and communications related to this topic are welcome.

We look forward to your contribution.

Dr. Tobias Weil
Dr. Valentina Tagliapietra
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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 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 2200 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

  • host–pathogen–microbiota interactions
  • sustainable pest management
  • eco-epidemiology
  • infectious diseases
  • disease control
  • next-generation sequencing
  • transcriptome
  • metabolomics
  • holobiont
  • pathobiome

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Article
Bacteriophage-Host Association in the Phytoplasma Insect Vector Euscelidius variegatus
Pathogens 2021, 10(5), 612; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10050612 - 17 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1396
Abstract
Insect vectors transmit viruses and bacteria that can cause severe diseases in plants and economic losses due to a decrease in crop production. Insect vectors, like all other organisms, are colonized by a community of various microorganisms, which can influence their physiology, ecology, [...] Read more.
Insect vectors transmit viruses and bacteria that can cause severe diseases in plants and economic losses due to a decrease in crop production. Insect vectors, like all other organisms, are colonized by a community of various microorganisms, which can influence their physiology, ecology, evolution, and also their competence as vectors. The important ecological meaning of bacteriophages in various ecosystems and their role in microbial communities has emerged in the past decade. However, only a few phages have been described so far in insect microbiomes. The leafhopper Euscelidius variegatus is a laboratory vector of the phytoplasma causing Flavescence dorée, a severe grapevine disease that threatens viticulture in Europe. Here, the presence of a temperate bacteriophage in E. variegatus (named Euscelidius variegatus phage 1, EVP-1) was revealed through both insect transcriptome analyses and electron microscopic observations. The bacterial host was isolated in axenic culture and identified as the bacterial endosymbiont of E. variegatus (BEV), recently assigned to the genus Candidatus Symbiopectobacterium. BEV harbors multiple prophages that become active in culture, suggesting that different environments can trigger different mechanisms, finely regulating the interactions among phages. Understanding the complex relationships within insect vector microbiomes may help in revealing possible microbe influences on pathogen transmission, and it is a crucial step toward innovative sustainable strategies for disease management in agriculture. Full article
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Article
Nanopore-Sequencing Characterization of the Gut Microbiota of Melolontha melolontha Larvae: Contribution to Protection against Entomopathogenic Nematodes?
Pathogens 2021, 10(4), 396; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10040396 - 25 Mar 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1073
Abstract
This study focused on the potential relationships between midgut microbiota of the common cockchafer Melolontha melolontha larvae and their resistance to entomopathogenic nematodes (EPN) infection. We investigated the bacterial community associated with control and unsusceptible EPN-exposed insects through nanopore sequencing of the 16S [...] Read more.
This study focused on the potential relationships between midgut microbiota of the common cockchafer Melolontha melolontha larvae and their resistance to entomopathogenic nematodes (EPN) infection. We investigated the bacterial community associated with control and unsusceptible EPN-exposed insects through nanopore sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Bacteroidetes were the most abundant bacterial phyla within the complex and variable midgut microbiota of the wild M. melolontha larvae. The core microbiota was found to include 82 genera, which accounted for 3.4% of the total number of identified genera. The EPN-resistant larvae differed significantly from the control ones in the abundance of many genera belonging to the Actinomycetales, Rhizobiales, and Clostridiales orders. Additionally, the analysis of the microbiome networks revealed different sets of keystone midgut bacterial genera between these two groups of insects, indicating differences in the mutual interactions between bacteria. Finally, we detected Xenorhabdus and Photorhabdus as gut residents and various bacterial species exhibiting antagonistic activity against these entomopathogens. This study paves the way to further research aimed at unravelling the role of the host gut microbiota on the output of EPN infection, which may contribute to enhancement of the efficiency of nematodes used in eco-friendly pest management. Full article
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