Special Issue "Bacterial Toxins – the Key Causal and Preventive Markers of Bacterial Disease"

A special issue of Toxins (ISSN 2072-6651). This special issue belongs to the section "Bacterial Toxins".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Ankur Mutreja
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Interests: Vaccines, Diagnostics, Evolution, Epidemiology, Public Health, Global Health

Special Issue Information

Bacterial toxins are the one of the most crucial and potent tools that bacteria deploy in mechanistic infection and disease pathology. These key virulence markers can be involved in a variety of functions ranging from colonisation (by damaging cells and tissues), to enhanced pathogenesis (by disabling the innate and adaptive defences of host.) In special cases, these entities also help in faster transmission and spread of bacteria and disease.

Broadly, toxins can be classed into two types: exotoxin (acellular) and endotoxin (cellular). Exotoxins such as neurotoxins of Clostridium botulinum and Clostridium tetani, anthrax toxin of Bacillus anthracis, diarrheal toxin of Vibrio cholerae and ETEC, immunostimulatory superantigens (SAgs) of Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes and choking toxins of Corynebacterium diphtheriae and Bordetella pertussis among many others, all modulate host cell function pathways. Endotoxins on the contrary are the lipopolysaccharides of bacterial cells and generally work as pyrogens. Due to their critical role in infection and disease, bacterial toxins make most convenient vaccine and therapeutic targets. Also, due to their immunomodulatory properties, modified versions of bacterial toxins are widely used as carrier proteins and adjuvants. 

This Special Issue of Toxins will detail the history, evolution, and the mechanisms of action and host interaction of various bacterial toxins. In this issue, we will also showcase how these bacterial toxins have been exploited in advancement of scientific research, diagnostics, biochemistry-based high-throughput technologies and as components of life-saving drugs and vaccine formulations.

Dr. Ankur Mutreja
Guest Editor

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 double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Toxins 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 2400 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.

Keywords

  • Exotoxin
  • endotoxin
  • superantigen
  • toxoid
  • anti-toxin
  • bacteria
  • vaccine
  • engineering
  • carrier protein
  • adjuvant

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Article
Association of Polygenic Risk Score and Bacterial Toxins at Screening Colonoscopy with Colorectal Cancer Progression: A Multicenter Case-Control Study
Toxins 2021, 13(8), 569; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins13080569 - 16 Aug 2021
Viewed by 929
Abstract
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a leading cause of cancer death worldwide, and its incidence is correlated with infections, chronic inflammation, diet, and genetic factors. An emerging aspect is that microbial dysbiosis and chronic infections triggered by certain bacteria can be risk factors for [...] Read more.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a leading cause of cancer death worldwide, and its incidence is correlated with infections, chronic inflammation, diet, and genetic factors. An emerging aspect is that microbial dysbiosis and chronic infections triggered by certain bacteria can be risk factors for tumor progression. Recent data suggest that certain bacterial toxins implicated in DNA attack or in proliferation, replication, and death can be risk factors for insurgence and progression of CRC. In this study, we recruited more than 300 biopsy specimens from people undergoing colonoscopy, and we analyzed to determine whether a correlation exists between the presence of bacterial genes coding for toxins possibly involved in CRC onset and progression and the different stages of CRC. We also analyzed to determine whether CRC-predisposing genetic factors could contribute to bacterial toxins response. Our results showed that CIF toxin is associated with polyps or adenomas, whereas pks+ seems to be a predisposing factor for CRC. Toxins from Escherichia coli as a whole have a higher incidence rate in adenocarcinoma patients compared to controls, whereas Bacteroides fragilis toxin does not seem to be associated with pre-cancerous nor with cancerous lesions. These results have been obtained irrespectively of the presence of CRC-risk loci. Full article
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Article
Molecular Characterization of the Enterohemolysin Gene (ehxA) in Clinical Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli Isolates
Toxins 2021, 13(1), 71; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins13010071 - 19 Jan 2021
Viewed by 782
Abstract
Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) is an important foodborne pathogen with the ability to cause bloody diarrhea (BD) and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Little is known about enterohemolysin-encoded by ehxA. Here we investigated the prevalence and diversity of ehxA in 239 [...] Read more.
Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) is an important foodborne pathogen with the ability to cause bloody diarrhea (BD) and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Little is known about enterohemolysin-encoded by ehxA. Here we investigated the prevalence and diversity of ehxA in 239 STEC isolates from human clinical samples. In total, 199 out of 239 isolates (83.26%) were ehxA positive, and ehxA was significantly overrepresented in isolates carrying stx2a + stx2c (p < 0.001) and eae (p < 0.001). The presence of ehxA was significantly associated with BD and serotype O157:H7. Five ehxA subtypes were identified, among which, ehxA subtypes B, C, and F were overrepresented in eae-positive isolates. All O157:H7 isolates carried ehxA subtype B, which was related to BD and HUS. Three ehxA groups were observed in the phylogenetic analysis, namely, group Ⅰ (ehxA subtype A), group Ⅱ (ehxA subtype B, C, and F), and group Ⅲ (ehxA subtype D). Most BD- and HUS-associated isolates were clustered into ehxA group Ⅱ, while ehxA group Ⅰ was associated with non-bloody stool and individuals ≥10 years of age. The presence of ehxA + eae and ehxA + eae + stx2 was significantly associated with HUS and O157:H7 isolates. In summary, this study showed a high prevalence and the considerable genetic diversity of ehxA among clinical STEC isolates. The ehxA genotypes (subtype B and phylogenetic group Ⅱ) could be used as risk predictors, as they were associated with severe clinical symptoms, such as BD and HUS. Furthermore, ehxA, together with stx and eae, can be used as a risk predictor for HUS in STEC infections. Full article
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Article
High Titer Persistent Neutralizing Antibodies Induced by TSST-1 Variant Vaccine Against Toxic Shock Cytokine Storm
Toxins 2020, 12(10), 640; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12100640 - 02 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 914
Abstract
Staphylococcal superantigen toxins lead to a devastating cytokine storm resulting in shock and multi-organ failure. We have previously assessed the safety and immunogenicity of a recombinant toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 variant vaccine (rTSST-1v) in clinical trials (NCT02971670 and NCT02340338). The current study [...] Read more.
Staphylococcal superantigen toxins lead to a devastating cytokine storm resulting in shock and multi-organ failure. We have previously assessed the safety and immunogenicity of a recombinant toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 variant vaccine (rTSST-1v) in clinical trials (NCT02971670 and NCT02340338). The current study assessed neutralizing antibody titers after repeated vaccination with escalating doses of rTSST-1v. At study entry, 23 out of 34 subjects (67.6%) had neutralizing antibody titers inhibiting T cell activation as determined by 3H-thymidine incorporation at a serum dilution of ≤1:100 with similar figures for inhibition of IL-2 activation (19 of 34 subjects, 55.9%) as assessed by quantitative PCR. After the first vaccination, numbers of subjects with neutralization titers inhibiting T cell activation (61.7% ≥ 1:1000) and inhibiting IL-2 gene induction (88.2% ≥ 1:1000) increased. The immune response was augmented after the second vaccination (inhibiting T cell activation: 78.8% ≥ 1:1000; inhibiting IL-2 induction: 93.9% ≥ 1:1000) corroborated with a third immunization months later in a small subgroup of subjects. Assessment of IFNγ, TNFα and IL-6 inhibition revealed similar results, whereas neutralization titers did not change in placebo participants. Antibody titer studies show that vaccination with rTSST-1v in subjects with no/low neutralizing antibodies can rapidly induce high titer neutralizing antibodies persisting over months. Full article
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