About this Research Topic
The molecular adaptations required by pathogenic viruses, bacteria, and protists for efficient acquisition, dissemination, maintenance, and finally successful transmission from a vector into a naïve host are largely unknown. Studies over the last decade have focused on understanding the strategies used by these pathogens to bypass some of the immune-related pathways of the arthropod vector (which are meant to eradicate or suppress the infection). More recently, research has started to focus on microbiota-pathogen interactions that lead to successful colonization of the arthropod vectors.
Also of importance is how changes in the arthropod blood meal can affect the maintenance of the microbiome and in turn the pathogen. Several reports highlight the resistance of the arthropod to certain extreme climatic conditions because of infections by the pathogens that they vector, which cause changes in the arthropod’s physiology. Furthermore, the pathogens have evolved and adapted to the vectors’ feeding and life-cycle patterns. For example, a high diversity of pathogens are transmitted by mosquitoes as well as soft ticks, and they tend to feed for an extremely short period of time. As such, the pathogens within these vectors, are primed to enter the host as soon as attachment/feeding begins; unlike those present in hard ticks that feed for several days.
The use of novel technologies to study the transcriptomes, metabolomes, and proteomes constitute a major leap in the study of vector-pathogen interactions and have provided major insight into the complexity of their relationships. An increased understanding in this field is fundamental to the discovery and implementation of control and prevention strategies, including vaccines, not only against specific pathogens but also the arthropod itself.
This Research Topic will provide a platform for
a) Original Research articles that should focus primarily on the interactions of the vector and the pathogen within, during the time of feeding, molting and acquisition/transmission. This also includes any of the ‘omics’-related research that lends insight into these relationships of the vector-pathogen
b) Methods – articles that are novel in terms of possible in-vitro feeding methods that can reduce the number of animals used for experiments to the artificial introduction of the pathogen into the vector, and that have not yet been used or even RNAi/CRISPR-Cas9 usage
c) Reviews or Mini Reviews - that highlight important work over the decades and provide a balanced perspective and direction on how future studies should be carried out based on current research gaps
d) Perspectives – which are articles that look at specific areas of research within this Research Topic and can discuss current advances and future directions
e) Brief Research Reports – preliminary findings or negative results that have scientifically sound data