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The biology and ecology of ticks shape the potential for the transmission of zoonotic pathogens

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889194063 Year: Pages: 179 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-406-3 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Internal medicine --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-12-10 11:59:06
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Ticks are noticeable by the high diversity of pathogens they can transmit, most of them with implications in human and animal health. Ticks are arachnids, meaning that they do not share the biological and ecological features of the mosquitoes and other parasitic Diptera. The natural foci of tick-borne pathogens may be as large as a continent, or be restricted to small portions of a country, without apparently too many similar features. The life cycle of the ticks involved three developing instars. The precise relationships of ticks and their hosts, the specific seasonal pattern of activity of ticks, and the still poorly known molecular relationships between ticks and the pathogens they can transmit, make these vectors a specially fecund field of research. Importantly, extensive studies on the biological and ecological relationships of ticks and abiotic (climate and vegetation) conditions have revealed the fine-tuning of the ticks and the pathogens they transmit, together with the biological effects of host and the driving features by the climate. The studies on tick-transmitted pathogens have been on the rise in the last years. There is a growing interest in understand the somewhat complex relationships between the landscape, the climate, the vectors and the pathogens, because the concerns of spread, probably driven by subtle changes in climate and man made alterations of the landscape. Studies on Lyme borreliosis are addressing the interesting issue of the relationships between the climate, the tick activity patterns, and the selection of strains according to the reservoir availability. Furthermore, the expanding field of habitat suitability modeling has been applied with different degrees of success to evaluate and quantify the risk of disease transmission. In such exponentially growing field, revisionary books are clearly welcome additions to the bibliographical tools of researchers. It is however necessary the compilation of works devoted to explore the tip of the iceberg in the field of research. In this Research Topic, we wish to summarize and review the studies on ecology, molecular biology, and tick-host-pathogens interactions, provided to resolve the important issues of ticks and pathogens. We want not only the results obtained by newly developed molecular tools, but rigorous reviews of the most recent advances in these issues. This Topic will cover aspects of both human and animal health, with special interest on zoonoses. Aspects of the biology of the ticks, as affecting the transmission of pathogens, are of special interest in this Topic. Studies on ticks of the poorly known family Argasidae, as related to their involvement on pathogen transmission, are especially welcome. We also wish to describe the perspective of the field in the future. Finally, the presentation of ongoing original works is greatly encouraged.

The microbial nitrogen cycle

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889194124 Year: Pages: 174 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-412-4 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Microbiology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-12-10 11:59:06
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Nitrogen is an essential element in biological systems, and one that often limits production in both aquatic and terrestrial systems. Due to its requirement in biological macromolecules, its acquisition and cycling have the potential to structure microbial communities, as well as to control productivity on the ecosystem scale. In addition, its versatile redox chemistry is the basis of complex biogeochemical transformations that control the inventory of fixed nitrogen, both in local environments and over geological time. Although many of the pathways in the microbial nitrogen cycle were described more than a century ago, additional fundamental pathways have been discovered only recently. These findings imply that we still have much to learn about the microbial nitrogen cycle, the organisms responsible for it, and their interactions in natural and human environments. Progress in nitrogen cycle research has been facilitated by recent rapid technological advances, especially in genomics and isotopic approaches. In this Research Topic, we reviewed the leading edge of nitrogen cycle research based on these approaches, as well as by exploring microbial processes in modern ecosystems.

The oral microbiome in an ecological perspective

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889195763 Year: Pages: 116 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-576-3 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Internal medicine --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-02-05 17:24:33
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The oral cavity harbors an immense diversity of microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, archaea, protozoa and viruses. At health, oral microbial community is thought to be in a state of homeostasis, even after numerous perturbations (e.g., toothbrushing, food intake) a day. The breach in this homeostasis can occur for instance if the perturbations become too excessive (e.g., frequent carbohydrate intake leading to acidification of the community) or the host is compromised (e.g., inadequate immune response resulting in persistent inflammation of periodontal tissue). Aggressive antimicrobial therapy (e.g., antibiotics in case of periodontal disease or preventive antibiotic therapy before and after dental extractions) is commonly applied with all the negative consequences of this approach. So far little is known on the interplay between the environmental, host and microbial factors in maintaining an ecological balance. What are the prerequisites for a healthy oral ecosystem? Can we restore an unbalanced oral microbiome? How stable is the oral microbiome through time and how robust it is to external perturbations? Gaining new insights in the ecological factors sustaining oral health will lead to conceptually new therapies and preventive programs. Recent advances in high throughput technologies have brought microbiology as a science to a new era, allowing an open-ended approach instead of focusing on few opportunistic pathogens. With this topic we would like to integrate the current high-throughput ‘omics’ tools such as metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, metaproteomics or metabolomics with biochemical, physiological, genetic or clinical parameters within the oral microbial ecosystem. We aim to address questions underlying the regulation of the ecological balance in the oral cavity by including the following areas: • Ecology of oral microbiome at health • Ecology of oral microbiome under oral diseases • Ecology of oral microbiome during non-oral diseases • Shifts in the oral microbiome by therapeutic approaches (e.g., antimicrobials, replacement therapy, pre- and probiotics) • Modeling of oral ecological shifts (e.g., animal models, in vitro microcosm models) • Complex inter- and intra-kingdom interactions (e.g., bacterial-fungal-host) related to oral ecology • Environmental (e.g., diet, tobacco), host-related (e.g., immune response, saliva composition and flow) and biotic (e.g., bacterial competition) factors influencing oral ecology • Geographic variation in oral microbial ecology and diversity

Virus Ecology and Disturbances: Impact of Environmental Disruption on the Viruses of Microorganisms

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889194483 Year: Pages: 94 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-448-3 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Microbiology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-02-05 17:24:33
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Viruses infect numerous microorganisms including, predominantly, Bacteria (bacteriophages or phages) but also Archaea, Protists, and Fungi. They are the most abundant and ubiquitous biological entities on Earth and are important drivers of ecosystem functioning. Little is known, however, about the vast majority of these viruses of microorganisms, or VoMs. Modern techniques such as metagenomics have enabled the discovery and description of more presumptive VoMs than ever before, but also have exposed gaps in our understanding of VoM ecology. Exploring the ecology of these viruses – which is how they interact with host organisms, the abiotic environment, larger organisms, and even other viruses across a variety of environments and conditions – is the next frontier. Integration of a growing molecular understanding of VoMs with ecological studies will expand our knowledge of ecosystem dynamics. Ecology can be studied at multiple levels including individual organisms, populations, communities, whole ecosystems, and the entire biosphere. Ecology additionally can consider normal, equilibrium conditions or instead perturbations. Perturbations are of particular interest because measuring the effect of disturbances on VoM-associated communities provides important windows into how VoMs contribute to ecosystem dynamics. These disturbances in turn can be studied through in vitro, in vivo, and in situ experimentation, measuring responses by VoM-associated communities to changes in nutrient availability, stress, physical disruption, seasonality, etc., and could apply to studies at all ecological levels. These are considered here across diverse systems and environments.

Roles and mechanisms of parasitism in aquatic microbial communities

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889195886 Year: Pages: 153 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-588-6 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Microbiology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-03-10 08:14:32
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Next Generation Sequencing technologies are increasingly revealing that microbial taxa likely to be parasites or symbionts are probably much more prevalent and diverse than previously thought. Every well studied free-living species has parasites; parasites themselves can be parasitized. As a rule of thumb, there is an estimated 4 parasitic species for any given host, and the better a host is studied the more parasites are known to infect it. Therefore, parasites and other symbionts should represent a very large number of species and may far outnumber those with 'free-living' lifestyles. Paradoxically, free-living hosts, which form the bulk of our knowledge of biology, may be a minority! Microbial parasites typically are characterized by their small size, short generation time, and high rates of reproduction, with simple life cycle occurring generally within a single host. They are diverse and ubiquitous in the environment, comprising viruses, prokaryotes and eukaryotes. This Frontiers Research Topic sought to provide a broad overview but concise, comprehensive, well referenced and up-to-date state of the art for everyone involved with microbial parasites in aquatic microbial ecology.

Recent Discoveries in Evolutionary and Genomic Microbiology

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889196173 Year: Pages: 99 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-617-3 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Microbiology
Added to DOAB on : 2016-08-16 10:34:25
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This collection represents certain discoveries that were made in evolutionary and genomic microbiology during the recent ten years. We attempted to shed light on topical issues of microbial evolution and microbiome biology. In our eyes, these articles are of an excellent quality and may be helpful both for casual readers and for specialists in the field.

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