Pathogen Transmission among Animals and Humans: A One Health Approach

A special issue of Microorganisms (ISSN 2076-2607). This special issue belongs to the section "Public Health Microbiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2023) | Viewed by 14518

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Thessaly, 224 Trikalon, 43100 Karditsa, Greece
Interests: microorganisms that cause disease in animals and can be transmitted from animals to humans; infectious animal diseases; immunological mechanisms; molecular diagnostics

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Guest Editor
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Thessaly, 224 Trikalon, 43100 Karditsa, Greece
Interests: goat; health management; mastitis; milk quality; sheep
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The zoonotic transmission of pathogens constitutes an important public health problem of global significance that implicates humans with domesticated and wild animals. Prions, viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites are spread through a cross-species spillover phenomenon that results in the dissemination of the respective diseases and leads to the emergence of new pathogenic variants and strains.

Research dedicated to the hosts, humans or animals, engaged in the transmission circle of these diseases can provide valuable information regarding the traits of the circulating pathogens. Subsequently, the integrated inspection and surveillance of each disease will promote a deeper understanding and enable prevention of future spillover events.

This Special Issue of Microorganisms will include articles concerning pathogens that can be transmitted among different species and which should be viewed under the ‘One Health’ approach. Submissions can refer to the causal agents of such problems, as well as to all aspects of the relevant diseases: diagnosis, pathogenesis, transmission, epidemiology and molecular epidemiology, surveillance and control and may include studies performed in people and/or animals describing original field, laboratory or experimental work. Systematic or opinionated reviews are also welcome.

Prof. Dr. Charalambos Billinis
Prof. Dr. George Fthenakis
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • diagnosis
  • epidemiology
  • One Health
  • surveillance
  • transmission
  • zoonotic infection

Published Papers (7 papers)

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14 pages, 1561 KiB  
Article
Bacterial Communities Associated with Houseflies (Musca domestica L.) Inhabiting Hospices in South Africa
by Maropeng C. Monyama, Oriel M. Taioe, Jane S. Nkhebenyane, Deidre van Wyk, Tsepo Ramatla and Oriel M. M. Thekisoe
Microorganisms 2023, 11(6), 1440; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11061440 - 30 May 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1858
Abstract
Houseflies are alleged reservoirs as well as vectors of human and animal pathogens, including bacteria, because they frequently have contact with animal excreta and decaying organic substances. The rapid adaptation process of ingested microbes in the insect gut may involve gene transfer, including [...] Read more.
Houseflies are alleged reservoirs as well as vectors of human and animal pathogens, including bacteria, because they frequently have contact with animal excreta and decaying organic substances. The rapid adaptation process of ingested microbes in the insect gut may involve gene transfer, including antibiotic resistance determinants among different bacterial strains. Six hundred and fifty-seven (n = 657) houseflies were collected from hospices and were identified morphologically and genetically using the 16S rRNA, CO1, and ITS2 barcoding genes. This study also characterized the bacterial communities harboured by the captured houseflies using 16S rRNA metabarcoding on the next-generation sequencing (NGS) platform and further sought to detect antibiotic resistance traits by using gene-specific PCR assays. Generated sequences for the targeted gene fragments matched with Musca domestica and all the sequences were deposited to the GenBank database. The 16S rRNA metabarcoding analysis revealed that the most abundant phyla detected with variable abundance observed among all the houseflies were Proteobacteria, followed by Firmicutes, and Bacteroidetes. Furthermore, the NGS data revealed the presence of multiple bacterial genera, including Providencia, Enterobacter, Dysgonomonas, Escherichia-Shigella, Klebsiella, Pseudomonas, and Streptococcus, which are known to harbour potentially pathogenic species of animals and humans. Antibiotic resistance genes detected from the housefly DNA in this study included ermB, tetA, blaSHV, and blaTEM. Moreover, these genes are associated with resistance to erythromycin, tetracycline, and beta-lactams antibiotics, respectively. The presence of bacterial pathogens and the detection of antibiotic resistance genes from the houseflies collected from the hospices indicates the possible health risk to patients in hospices and the surrounding community. Therefore, it is imperative to keep high standards of hygiene, food preparation, safety, and control of houseflies in hospices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogen Transmission among Animals and Humans: A One Health Approach)
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17 pages, 1239 KiB  
Article
Tracking the Source of Human Q Fever from a Southern French Village: Sentinel Animals and Environmental Reservoir
by Younes Laidoudi, Elodie Rousset, Anne-Sophie Dessimoulie, Myriam Prigent, Alizée Raptopoulo, Quentin Huteau, Elisabeth Chabbert, Catherine Navarro, Pierre-Edouard Fournier and Bernard Davoust
Microorganisms 2023, 11(4), 1016; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11041016 - 13 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1392
Abstract
Coxiella burnetii, also known as the causal agent of Q fever, is a zoonotic pathogen infecting humans and several animal species. Here, we investigated the epidemiological context of C. burnetii from an area in the Hérault department in southern France, using the [...] Read more.
Coxiella burnetii, also known as the causal agent of Q fever, is a zoonotic pathogen infecting humans and several animal species. Here, we investigated the epidemiological context of C. burnetii from an area in the Hérault department in southern France, using the One Health paradigm. In total, 13 human cases of Q fever were diagnosed over the last three years in an area comprising four villages. Serological and molecular investigations conducted on the representative animal population, as well as wind data, indicated that some of the recent cases are likely to have originated from a sheepfold, which revealed bacterial contamination and a seroprevalence of 47.6%. However, the clear-cut origin of human cases cannot be ruled out in the absence of molecular data from the patients. Multi-spacer typing based on dual barcoding nanopore sequencing highlighted the occurrence of a new genotype of C. burnetii. In addition, the environmental contamination appeared to be widespread across a perimeter of 6 km due to local wind activity, according to the seroprevalence detected in dogs (12.6%) and horses (8.49%) in the surrounding populations. These findings were helpful in describing the extent of the exposed area and thus supporting the use of dogs and horses as valuable sentinel indicators for monitoring Q fever. The present data clearly highlighted that the epidemiological surveillance of Q fever should be reinforced and improved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogen Transmission among Animals and Humans: A One Health Approach)
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14 pages, 1602 KiB  
Article
Identifying New Clusterons: Application of TBEV Analyzer 3.0
by Majid Forghani, Sergey Kovalev, Michael Khachay, Edward Ramsay, Mikhail Bolkov and Pavel Vasev
Microorganisms 2023, 11(2), 324; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11020324 - 27 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1325
Abstract
Early knowledge about novel emerging viruses and rapid determination of their characteristics are crucial for public health. In this context, development of theoretical approaches to model viral evolution are important. The clusteron approach is a recent bioinformatics tool which analyzes genetic patterns of [...] Read more.
Early knowledge about novel emerging viruses and rapid determination of their characteristics are crucial for public health. In this context, development of theoretical approaches to model viral evolution are important. The clusteron approach is a recent bioinformatics tool which analyzes genetic patterns of a specific E protein fragment and provides a hierarchical network structure of the viral population at three levels: subtype, lineage, and clusteron. A clusteron is a group of strains with identical amino acid (E protein fragment) signatures; members are phylogenetically closely related and feature a particular territorial distribution. This paper announces TBEV Analyzer 3.0, an analytical platform for rapidly characterizing tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) strains based on the clusteron approach, workflow optimizations, and simplified parameter settings. Compared with earlier versions of TBEV Analyzer, we provide theoretical and practical enhancements to the platform. Regarding the theoretical aspect, the model of the clusteron structure, which is the core of platform analysis, has been updated by analyzing all suitable TBEV strains available in GenBank, while the practical enhancements aim at improving the platform’s functionality. Here, in addition to expanding the strain sets of prior clusterons, we introduce eleven novel clusterons through our experimental results, predominantly of the European subtype. The obtained results suggest effective application of the proposed platform as an analytical and exploratory tool in TBEV surveillance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogen Transmission among Animals and Humans: A One Health Approach)
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13 pages, 750 KiB  
Article
Protozoan Parasites in Adult Dairy Small Ruminants and Potential Predictors for Their Presence in Faecal Samples
by Daphne T. Lianou, Konstantinos V. Arsenopoulos, Charalambia K. Michael, Elias Papadopoulos and George C. Fthenakis
Microorganisms 2022, 10(10), 1931; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10101931 - 28 Sep 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1859
Abstract
There is a scope to study protozoan infections in adult ewes and does, as these animals can act as reservoirs of infection for lambs and kids, for which these pathogens are harmful. The objectives of this study were to describe the prevalence of [...] Read more.
There is a scope to study protozoan infections in adult ewes and does, as these animals can act as reservoirs of infection for lambs and kids, for which these pathogens are harmful. The objectives of this study were to describe the prevalence of protozoan infections in faecal samples from adult sheep and goats on dairy farms across Greece and to evaluate farm-related factors potentially associated with the presence of protozoan infections in these animals. A cross-sectional study was performed on 325 sheep and 119 goat farms throughout Greece; faecal samples were collected from ewes and does and processed for the identification of protozoan parasites. Eimeria oocysts were found in faecal samples from 69% of farms (72% of sheep farms and 61% of goat farms), Giardia cysts in samples from 33% of farms (33% of sheep farms and 34% of goat farms) and Cryptosporidium oocysts in samples from 8% of farms (7% of sheep farms and 11% of goat farms). In a multivariable analysis, for the presence of Eimeria in samples from sheep farms, the lack of a designated building for lambs emerged as a significant factor; for the presence of Giardia in samples from goat farms, the availability of a main building for animals emerged as a significant factor; for the presence of Cryptosporidium, the lack of grazing and the management system emerged as the main significant factors in sheep and goat farms, respectively. Protozoa were found significantly more frequently in samples collected from farms on which farmers considered diarrhoea as an important health problem in their lambs/kids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogen Transmission among Animals and Humans: A One Health Approach)
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16 pages, 3802 KiB  
Article
West Nile Virus Occurrence and Ecological Niche Modeling in Wild Bird Species and Mosquito Vectors: An Active Surveillance Program in the Peloponnese Region of Greece
by Marina Sofia, Alexios Giannakopoulos, Ioannis A. Giantsis, Antonia Touloudi, Periklis Birtsas, Kontantinos Papageorgiou, Zoi Athanasakopoulou, Dimitris C. Chatzopoulos, Georgia Vrioni, Dimitrios Galamatis, Vassilis Diamantopoulos, Spyridoula Mpellou, Evanthia Petridou, Spyridon K. Kritas, Matina Palli, Giorgos Georgakopoulos, Vassiliki Spyrou, Athanassios Tsakris, Alexandra Chaskopoulou and Charalambos Billinis
Microorganisms 2022, 10(7), 1328; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10071328 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2538
Abstract
West Nile Virus (WNV) is maintained in nature in a bird-mosquito cycle and human infections follow a seasonal pattern, favored by climatic conditions. Peloponnese Region, located in Southern Greece, initiated an active WNV surveillance program to protect public health during 2019–2020. The project [...] Read more.
West Nile Virus (WNV) is maintained in nature in a bird-mosquito cycle and human infections follow a seasonal pattern, favored by climatic conditions. Peloponnese Region, located in Southern Greece, initiated an active WNV surveillance program to protect public health during 2019–2020. The project included monitoring of avian hosts and mosquito vectors, while sampling locations were prioritized after consideration of WNV circulation in birds, mosquitos and humans during previous seasons. Biological materials were collected from 493 wild birds of 25 species and 678 mosquito pools, which were molecularly screened for WNV presence. In this case, 14 environmental variables were associated with WNV detection in wild birds and mosquitos by using two separate MaxEnt models. Viral RNA was not detected in the target species during 2019, although in 2020, it was reported on 46 wild birds of ten species and 22 mosquito pools (Culex pipiens and Aedes albopictus). Altitude and land uses were significant predictors for both models and in fact, suitable conditions for virus occurrence were identified in low altitude zones. Bird- and mosquito-based surveillance systems yielded similar results and allowed for targeted vector control applications in cases of increased virus activity. Human cases were not reported on Peloponnese in 2020. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogen Transmission among Animals and Humans: A One Health Approach)
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13 pages, 1376 KiB  
Article
Plethora of Resistance Genes in Carbapenem-Resistant Gram-Negative Bacteria in Greece: No End to a Continuous Genetic Evolution
by Katerina Tsilipounidaki, Zoi Athanasakopoulou, Elke Müller, Sindy Burgold-Voigt, Zoi Florou, Sascha D. Braun, Stefan Monecke, Nikolaos K. Gatselis, Kalliopi Zachou, Aggelos Stefos, Ilias Tsagalas, Marina Sofia, Vassiliki Spyrou, Charalambos Billinis, George N. Dalekos, Ralf Ehricht and Efthymia Petinaki
Microorganisms 2022, 10(1), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10010159 - 13 Jan 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2111
Abstract
Carbapenem-resistant Gram-negative bacteria are a public health threat that requires urgent action. The fact that these pathogens commonly also harbor resistance mechanisms for several other antimicrobial classes further reduces patient treatment options. The present study aimed to provide information regarding the multidrug resistance [...] Read more.
Carbapenem-resistant Gram-negative bacteria are a public health threat that requires urgent action. The fact that these pathogens commonly also harbor resistance mechanisms for several other antimicrobial classes further reduces patient treatment options. The present study aimed to provide information regarding the multidrug resistance genetic background of carbapenem-resistant Gram-negative bacteria in Central Greece. Strains from a tertiary care hospital, collected during routine practice, were characterized using a DNA microarray-based assay. Various different resistance determinants for carbapenems, other beta-lactams, aminoglycosides, quinolones, trimethoprim, sulfonamides and macrolides were detected among isolates of the same sequence type. Eighteen different multidrug resistance genomic profiles were identified among the twenty-four K. pneumoniae ST258, seven different profiles among the eight K. pneumoniae ST11, four profiles among the six A. baumannii ST409 and two among the three K. oxytoca. This report describes the multidrug resistance genomic background of carbapenem-resistant Gram-negative bacteria from a tertiary care hospital in Central Greece, providing evidence of their continuous genetic evolution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogen Transmission among Animals and Humans: A One Health Approach)
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6 pages, 919 KiB  
Case Report
Streptococcus equi subsp. equi in Retropharyngeal Abscess: Case Report and Review of Literature
by Anna Waśniewska-Włodarczyk, Renata Pepaś, Renata Janowicz and Wiesław Konopka
Microorganisms 2022, 10(10), 2032; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10102032 - 14 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1953
Abstract
Retropharyngeal abscesses (RPAs) represent the group of deep space infections of the neck. Although RPA is a well-known condition, some aspects of it still may be challenging. Localization, symptoms, and etiology may confuse even the most experienced physicians. S. equi subspecies are zoonotic [...] Read more.
Retropharyngeal abscesses (RPAs) represent the group of deep space infections of the neck. Although RPA is a well-known condition, some aspects of it still may be challenging. Localization, symptoms, and etiology may confuse even the most experienced physicians. S. equi subspecies are zoonotic agents and cause multiple diseases in diverse animals. Infections in humans are rare. This report presents an extremely rare case of retropharyngeal abscess in a 12-year-old girl caused by an infection of Streptococcus equi subsp. equi. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogen Transmission among Animals and Humans: A One Health Approach)
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