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PLOS Pathogens Microbiome Research: A Call for Papers

PLOS Pathogens invites submission of your research on the microbiome (of animals, plants, and humans) and its interactions with infectious disease or the immune system.

Microbiota, a community of microorganisms including bacteria, viruses, and fungi, are vital to human health. When altered, these microbial communities can cause or promote disease. As new discoveries are made about the role the microbiome plays in the development of infectious diseases, PLOS Pathogens Editors-in-Chief Kasturi Haldar and Grant McFadden, together with Editorial Board Members Denise Monack and Julie Pfeiffer, invite microbiome research on substantive mechanistic advances about how the microbiome directly or indirectly influences host-pathogen or pathogen-pathogen interaction and how these interact in novel ways.

PLOS Pathogens remains committed to publishing outstanding original articles that significantly advance the understanding of pathogens and how they interact with their host organisms, including the microbiome.

Research can deal directly with the interaction between microbiome and infectious diseases or indirectly with the development of the immune system by the microbiota.

Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Microbiota influence on immunity: changes to the immune system and susceptibility to infection caused by microbiota, colonization resistance
  • Microbiota influence on pathogens: microbiota impact on the selection or evolution of pathogens, horizontal gene transfer, influence on the expression of certain known pathogenic loci within infectious organisms, microbiota influence on infection
  • Pathogenic influence on microbiota: changes to the structure of resident communities and immunity after pathogenic infection, inter-kingdom interactions
  • The immune system’s interaction with microbiota: how the immune system discriminates pathogens from commensals

We encourage authors to submit a presubmission inquiry to determine whether a given study might fit these guidelines.

PLOS Pathogens has already received, considered, and published microbiome research that explores the relationship between microbiota and pathogens. In “Comparison of the human gastric microbiota in hypochlorhydric states arising as a result of Helicobacter pylori-induced atrophic gastritis, autoimmune atrophic gastritis and proton pump inhibitor use,” Bryony Parsons and colleagues investigated the contribution of non-H. pylori microbiota to gastric tumor development in the presence of reduced gastric acid secretion. In “The bacterial virulence factor CagA induces microbial dysbiosis that contributes to excessive epithelial cell proliferation in the Drosophila unconscious,” Tiffani Alvey Jones and colleagues used “Drosophila expressing the Hpylori disease-causing protein CagA, to model this virulence factor’s effect on host pathology and microbiota.”

Article types are not only limited to research articles. PLOS Pathogens has already received and published several frontmatter articles regarding the microbiome. The PLOS Pathogens Pearls article “The microbiome and the hallmarks of cancer” by Janelle Arthur and colleagues further delved into the integral roles the microbiome plays in modulating various aspects of host physiology and the effect it can have on carcinogenesis.

We encourage authors to submit their research on the microbiome and its interactions with infectious diseases in order to help us explore and continue to develop this burgeoning field. There is no deadline for submission.

Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wild_garden_of_the_gut_bacteria_6.jpg

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