Special Issue "Waterborne Zoonotic Pathogens"

A special issue of Pathogens (ISSN 2076-0817).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Chrissanthy Papadopoulou
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Microbiology Department, University of Ioannina, 45110 Ioannina, Greece
Interests: microbiology; zoonoses; emerging infectious diseases; food/water microbiology; antimicrobial resistance
Dr. Vangelis Economou
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Hygiene and Technology of Foods of Animal Origin, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
Interests: food hygiene; food microbiology; foodborne pathogens; antimicrobial resistance; veterinary public health; one health
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Hercules Sakkas
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, University of Ioannina, 45110 Ioannina, Greece
Interests: microbiology; infectious diseases; foodborne–waterborne diseases; antimicrobial resistance
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Waterborne diseases are constantly occurring, despite improved water processing and sanitation practices. Waterborne zoonotic pathogens, including bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and parasitic helminths, constitute a public health risk worldwide, being transmitted from animals to humans through the food chain, in particular through the consumption of contaminated water, fruits, and vegetables, as well as through direct contact with contaminated recreational waters. In recent years, the nature of the risks to public health has changed due to changes in several factors, such as resistance to antibiotics, transmission to humans due to changes to dietary and social habits, and changes in infecting serotypes. Salmonella remains a widespread pathogen in many animal species, as well as in humans, but new serotypes of S. enterica species have been identified to be transmitted through the animal–aquatic-environment–human chain. Campylobacteriosis is the most prevalent foodborne–waterborne zoonotic disease, but there is insufficient knowledge on the bacterial and host factors contributing to infection. Escherichia coli O157:H7, and other VTEC serotypes are isolated in fresh produce, which can be contaminated by insanitary water, and continue to be of major concern for public health because, although their prevalence is not so high, an infection can be life-threatening. Cryptosporidiosis is a protozoal parasitic disease which can be transmitted from animals to humans, causing sporadic cases and outbreaks worldwide. Toxoplasma gondii is widespread in animals, presenting with diverse manifestations in different hosts, ranging from asymptomatic (cattle, horses) to symptomatic, causing congenital diseases or abortion (sheep, humans), ocular disease (humans), acute fatal disease (sea mammals, immunodeficient humans), and recently waterborne outbreaks (humans). Hepatitis E virus genotypes G3 and G4 are distributed worldwide, infecting both humans and animals through contaminated water. This list is not limiting and other less frequent waterborne zoonotic (e.g., Leptospirosis, Francisella tularensis) infections are of public health importance and can be handled in this issue. Waterborne zoonotic helminths are spreading directly from animals to humans and vice versa through water that is either ingested or contains forms capable of skin penetration, and the disease severity ranges from being rapidly fatal to low-grade chronic infections that may be asymptomatic for many years. The most significant zoonotic waterborne helminthic diseases are either snail-mediated, copepod-mediated, or transmitted by fecal-contaminated water.

The majority of waterborne zoonotic pathogens are transmitted from animals to humans through contaminated water and food. Travel and movement of human and animal populations, environmental changes (altering land use patterns, urbanization, soil-water pollution due to animal and human wastes, climate change) are important factors in the worldwide spread of these diseases. People with immune disorders or other underlying chronic conditions are at particular risk and domestic animals, particularly those of intensive breeding, are at higher risk, too. Novel methods for rapid identification and differentiation of various zoonotic pathogens are needed for effective containment of waterborne outbreaks. Disease prevention methods, including disease surveillance, education and improved drinking water treatment, are needed predominantly in low-income countries. Waterborne zoonotic pathogens shared between humans and animals signify the need to strengthen the One Health approach to efficiently guard public health and food–water safety at a global level.

This Special Issue on "Waterborne Zoonotic Pathogens" addresses cutting edge research and review articles from leading scientists in the field of food and waterborne infections.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Waterborne zoonotic pathogens
  • Waterborne zoonotic diseases
  • Novel methods for early detection of waterborne zoonotic diseases
  • Rapid identification of waterborne pathogens
  • Prevention of waterborne zoonotic disease outbreak
  • Disease surveillance and risk assessment
  • New and effective drinking water treatment and sanitation methods
  • Waterborne zoonotic pathogens’ drug resistance
  • Bacteriophages in the natural and artificial environment
  • Waterborne zoonotic pathogens in soil
  • Waterborne zoonotic pathogens in sewage effluents
  • Development of drugs for effective treatment of waterborne zoonotic diseases
  • Development of effective vaccines for waterborne zoonotic diseases

Prof. Dr. Chrissanthy Papadopoulou
Dr. Vangelis Economou
Dr. Hercules Sakkas
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Pathogens is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Article
VCGIDB: A Database and Web Resource for the Genomic Islands from Vibrio cholerae
Pathogens 2019, 8(4), 261; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens8040261 - 23 Nov 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1493
Abstract
Vibrio cholerae is the causative agent of cholera, which is a severe, life-threatening diarrheal disease. The current seventh pandemic has not been eradicated and the outbreak is still ongoing around the world. The evolution of the pandemic-causing strain has been greatly influenced by [...] Read more.
Vibrio cholerae is the causative agent of cholera, which is a severe, life-threatening diarrheal disease. The current seventh pandemic has not been eradicated and the outbreak is still ongoing around the world. The evolution of the pandemic-causing strain has been greatly influenced by lateral gene transfer, and the mechanisms of acquisition of pathogenicity in V. cholerae are mainly involved with genomic islands (GIs). Thus, detecting GIs and their comprehensive information is necessary to understand the continuing resurgence and newly emerging pathogenic V. cholerae strains. In this study, 798 V. cholerae strains were tested using the GI-Scanner algorithm, which was developed to detect candidate GIs and identify them in a comparative genomics approach. The algorithm predicted 435 highly possible genomic islands, and we built a database, called Vibrio cholerae Genomic Island Database (VCGIDB). This database shows advanced results that were acquired from a large genome set using phylogeny-based predictions. Moreover, VCGIDB is a highly expendable database that does not require intensive computation, which enables us to update it with a greater number of genomes using a novel genomic island prediction method. The VCGIDB website allows the user to browse the data and presents the results in a visual manner. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Waterborne Zoonotic Pathogens)
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Article
Metagenomic Characterization of Bacterial Communities on Ready-to-Eat Vegetables and Effects of Household Washing on their Diversity and Composition
Pathogens 2019, 8(1), 37; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens8010037 - 19 Mar 2019
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2514
Abstract
Ready-to-eat (RTE) leafy salad vegetables are considered foods that can be consumed immediately at the point of sale without further treatment. The aim of the study was to investigate the bacterial community composition of RTE salads at the point of consumption and the [...] Read more.
Ready-to-eat (RTE) leafy salad vegetables are considered foods that can be consumed immediately at the point of sale without further treatment. The aim of the study was to investigate the bacterial community composition of RTE salads at the point of consumption and the changes in bacterial diversity and composition associated with different household washing treatments. The bacterial microbiomes of rocket and spinach leaves were examined by means of 16S rRNA gene high-throughput sequencing. Overall, 886 Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) were detected in the salads’ leaves. Proteobacteria was the most diverse high-level taxonomic group followed by Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes. Although they were processed at the same production facilities, rocket showed different bacterial community composition than spinach salads, mainly attributed to the different contributions of Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes to the total OTU number. The tested household decontamination treatments proved inefficient in changing the bacterial community composition in both RTE salads. Furthermore, storage duration of the salads at refrigeration temperatures affected the microbiome, by decreasing the bacterial richness and promoting the dominance of psychrotropic bacteria. Finally, both salads were found to be a reservoir of opportunistic human pathogens, while washing methods usually applied at home proved to be inefficient in their removal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Waterborne Zoonotic Pathogens)
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Review

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Review
Bacteriophages in Natural and Artificial Environments
Pathogens 2019, 8(3), 100; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pathogens8030100 - 12 Jul 2019
Cited by 38 | Viewed by 4208
Abstract
Bacteriophages (phages) are biological entities that have attracted a great deal of attention in recent years. They have been reported as the most abundant biological entities on the planet and their ability to impact the composition of bacterial communities is of great interest. [...] Read more.
Bacteriophages (phages) are biological entities that have attracted a great deal of attention in recent years. They have been reported as the most abundant biological entities on the planet and their ability to impact the composition of bacterial communities is of great interest. In this review, we aim to explore where phages exist in natural and artificial environments and how they impact communities. The natural environment in this review will focus on the human body, soils, and the marine environment. In these naturally occurring environments there is an abundance of phages suggesting a role in the maintenance of bacterial community homeostasis. The artificial environment focuses on wastewater treatment plants, industrial processes, followed by pharmaceutical formulations. As in natural environments, the existence of bacteria in manmade wastewater treatment plants and industrial processes inevitably attracts phages. The presence of phages in these environments can inhibit the bacteria required for efficient water treatment or food production. Alternatively, they can have a positive impact by eliminating recalcitrant organisms. Finally, we conclude by describing how phages can be manipulated or formulated into pharmaceutical products in the laboratory for use in natural or artificial environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Waterborne Zoonotic Pathogens)
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