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Biofilms from a Food Microbiology Perspective: Structures, Functions and Control Strategies

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889451081 Year: Pages: 197 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-108-1 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Microbiology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2017-07-06 13:27:36
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Abstract

Materials and equipment in food processing industries are colonized by surface-associated microbial communities called biofilms. In these biostructures microorganisms are embedded in a complex organic matrix composed essentially of polysaccharides, nucleic acids and proteins. This organic shield contributes to the mechanical biofilm cohesion and triggers tolerance to environmental stresses such as dehydratation or nutrient deprivation. Notably, cells within a biofilm are more tolerant to sanitation processes and the action of antimicrobial agents than their free living (or planktonic) counterparts. Such properties make conventional cleaning and disinfection protocols normally not effective in eradicating these biocontaminants. Biofilms are thus a continuous source of persistent microorganisms, including spoilage and pathogenic microorganisms, leading to repeated contamination of processed food with important economic and safety impact. Alternatively, in some particular settings, biofilm formation by resident or technological microorganisms can be desirable, due to possible enhancement of food fermentations or as a means of bioprotection against the settlement of pathogenic microorganisms. In the last decades substantial research efforts have been devoted to unravelling mechanisms of biofilm formation, deciphering biofilm architecture and understanding microbial interactions within those ecosystems. However, biofilms present a high level of complexity and many aspects remain yet to be fully understood. A lot of attention has been also paid to the development of novel strategies for preventing or controlling biofilm formation in industrial settings. Further research needs to be focused on the identification of new biocides effective against biofilm-associated microorganisms, the development of control strategies based on the inhibition of cell-to-cell communication, and the potential use of bacteriocins, bacteriocin-producing bacteria, phage, and natural antimicrobials as anti-biofilm agents, among others. This Research Topic aims to provide an avenue for dissemination of recent advances within the “biofilms” field, from novel knowledge on mechanisms of biofilm formation and biofilm architecture to novel strategies for biofilm control in food industrial settings.

Fungal Pathogenesis in Humans: The Growing Threat

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ISBN: 9783038979005 / 9783038979012 Year: Pages: 232 DOI: 10.3390/books978-3-03897-901-2 Language: eng
Publisher: MDPI - Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Subject: Science (General) --- Biology --- Genetics
Added to DOAB on : 2019-06-26 08:44:06
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Cancer survival rates and successful organ transplantation in patients continues to increase due to improvements in early diagnosis and treatments. Since immuno-suppressive therapies are frequently used, the mortality rate due to secondary infections has become an ever-increasing problem. Opportunistic fungal infections are probably the deadliest threat to these patients due to their difficult early diagnosis, the limited effect of antifungal drugs and the appearance of resistances. In recent years, a considerable effort has been devoted to investigating the role of many virulence traits in the pathogenic outcome of fungal infections. New virulence factors (hypoxia adaptation, CO2 sensing, pH regulation, micronutrient acquisition, secondary metabolites, immunity regulators, etc.) have been reported and their molecular mechanisms of action are being thoroughly investigated. The recent application of gene-editing technologies such as CRISPr-Cas9, has opened a whole new window to the discovery of new fungal virulence factors. Accurate fungal genotyping, Next Generation Sequencing and RNAseq approaches will undoubtedly provide new clues to interpret the plethora of molecular interactions controlling these complex systems. Unraveling their intimate regulatory details will provide insights for a more target-focused search or a rational design of more specific antifungal agents. This Special Issue is show significant discoveries, proofs of concept of new theories or relevant observations in fungal pathogenesis and its regulation.

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