American Society for Microbiology
About: Microbiology spectrum is an academic journal published by American Society for Microbiology. The journal publishes majorly in the area(s): Medicine & Biology. It has an ISSN identifier of 2165-0497. It is also open access. Over the lifetime, 4461 publications have been published receiving 51804 citations. The journal is also known as: Microbiol Spectr.
TL;DR: This chapter will describe in detail the major mechanisms of antibiotic resistance encountered in clinical practice, providing specific examples in relevant bacterial pathogens.
Abstract: The discovery, commercialization, and routine administration of antimicrobial compounds to treat infections revolutionized modern medicine and changed the therapeutic paradigm. Indeed, antibiotics have become one of the most important medical interventions needed for the development of complex medical approaches such as cutting-edge surgical procedures, solid organ transplantation, and management of patients with cancer, among others. Unfortunately, the marked increase in antimicrobial resistance among common bacterial pathogens is now threatening this therapeutic accomplishment, jeopardizing the successful outcomes of critically ill patients. In fact, the World Health Organization has named antibiotic resistance as one of the three most important public health threats of the 21st century ( 1 ).
TL;DR: New evidence is examined from various sources to derive an updated estimate of global fungal diversity, concluding that the commonly cited estimate of 1.5 million species is conservative and that the actual range is properly estimated at 2.2 to 3.8 million.
Abstract: The question of how many species of Fungi there are has occasioned much speculation, with figures mostly posited from around half a million to 10 million, and in one extreme case even a sizable portion of the spectacular number of 1 trillion. Here we examine new evidence from various sources to derive an updated estimate of global fungal diversity. The rates and patterns in the description of new species from the 1750s show no sign of approaching an asymptote and even accelerated in the 2010s after the advent of molecular approaches to species delimitation. Species recognition studies of (semi-)cryptic species hidden in morpho-species complexes suggest a weighted average ratio of about an order of magnitude for the number of species recognized after and before such studies. New evidence also comes from extrapolations of plant:fungus ratios, with information now being generated from environmental sequence studies, including comparisons of molecular and fieldwork data from the same sites. We further draw attention to undescribed species awaiting discovery in biodiversity hot spots in the tropics, little-explored habitats (such as lichen-inhabiting fungi), and material in collections awaiting study. We conclude that the commonly cited estimate of 1.5 million species is conservative and that the actual range is properly estimated at 2.2 to 3.8 million. With 120,000 currently accepted species, it appears that at best just 8%, and in the worst case scenario just 3%, are named so far. Improved estimates hinge particularly on reliable statistical and phylogenetic approaches to analyze the rapidly increasing amount of environmental sequence data.
TL;DR: Recent advances in research investigating the composition, synthesis, and regulation of cell walls are discussed and how the cell wall is targeted by immune recognition systems and the design of antifungal diagnostics and therapeutics are discussed.
Abstract: The molecular composition of the cell wall is critical for the biology and ecology of each fungal species. Fungal walls are composed of matrix components that are embedded and linked to scaffolds of fibrous load-bearing polysaccharides. Most of the major cell wall components of fungal pathogens are not represented in humans, other mammals, or plants, and therefore the immune systems of animals and plants have evolved to recognize many of the conserved elements of fungal walls. For similar reasons the enzymes that assemble fungal cell wall components are excellent targets for antifungal chemotherapies and fungicides. However, for fungal pathogens, the cell wall is often disguised since key signature molecules for immune recognition are sometimes masked by immunologically inert molecules. Cell wall damage leads to the activation of sophisticated fail-safe mechanisms that shore up and repair walls to avoid catastrophic breaching of the integrity of the surface. The frontiers of research on fungal cell walls are moving from a descriptive phase defining the underlying genes and component parts of fungal walls to more dynamic analyses of how the various components are assembled, cross-linked, and modified in response to environmental signals. This review therefore discusses recent advances in research investigating the composition, synthesis, and regulation of cell walls and how the cell wall is targeted by immune recognition systems and the design of antifungal diagnostics and therapeutics.
TL;DR: This chapter reviews the canonical features of several common bacterial protein secretion systems, as well as their roles in promoting the virulence of bacterial pathogens, and addresses recent findings that indicate that the innate immune system of the host can detect and respond to the presence ofprotein secretion systems during mammalian infection.
Abstract: Bacterial pathogens utilize a multitude of methods to invade mammalian hosts, damage tissue sites, and thwart the immune system from responding. One essential component of these strategies for many bacterial pathogens is the secretion of proteins across phospholipid membranes. Secreted proteins can play many roles in promoting bacterial virulence, from enhancing attachment to eukaryotic cells, to scavenging resources in an environmental niche, to directly intoxicating target cells and disrupting their functions. Many pathogens use dedicated protein secretion systems to secrete virulence factors from the cytosol of the bacteria into host cells or the host environment. In general, bacterial protein secretion apparatuses can be divided into classes, based on their structures, functions, and specificity. Some systems are conserved in all classes of bacteria and secrete a broad array of substrates, while others are only found in a small number of bacterial species and/or are specific to only one or a few proteins. In this chapter, we review the canonical features of several common bacterial protein secretion systems, as well as their roles in promoting the virulence of bacterial pathogens. Additionally, we address recent findings that indicate that the innate immune system of the host can detect and respond to the presence of protein secretion systems during mammalian infection.
TL;DR: The diverse range of polysaccharide structures, properties, and roles highlight the importance of this matrix constituent to the successful adaptation of bacteria to nearly every niche.
Abstract: Microbes produce a biofilm matrix consisting of proteins, extracellular DNA, and polysaccharides that is integral in the formation of bacterial communities. Historical studies of polysaccharides revealed that their overproduction often alters the colony morphology and can be diagnostic in identifying certain species. The polysaccharide component of the matrix can provide many diverse benefits to the cells in the biofilm, including adhesion, protection, and structure. Aggregative polysaccharides act as molecular glue, allowing the bacterial cells to adhere to each other as well as surfaces. Adhesion facilitates the colonization of both biotic and abiotic surfaces by allowing the bacteria to resist physical stresses imposed by fluid movement that could separate the cells from a nutrient source. Polysaccharides can also provide protection from a wide range of stresses, such as desiccation, immune effectors, and predators such as phagocytic cells and amoebae. Finally, polysaccharides can provide structure to biofilms, allowing stratification of the bacterial community and establishing gradients of nutrients and waste products. This can be advantageous for the bacteria by establishing a heterogeneous population that is prepared to endure stresses created by the rapidly changing environments that many bacteria encounter. The diverse range of polysaccharide structures, properties, and roles highlight the importance of this matrix constituent to the successful adaptation of bacteria to nearly every niche. Here, we present an overview of the current knowledge regarding the diversity and benefits that polysaccharide production provides to bacterial communities within biofilms.