Table of Content

Antimicrobial Resistance: From Basic Science to Applied Approaches

Submission Deadline: 31 July 2023 Submit to Special Issue

Guest Editors


Prof. Dr. Marcello Iriti, Department of Biomedical, Surgical and Dental Sciences, Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy. marcello.iriti@unimi.it


Prof. Dr. Elena Maria Varoni, Department of Biomedical, Surgical and Dental Sciences, Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy. elena .varoni@unimi.it

Summary

According to the World Health Organization, resistance of microorganisms to antimicrobial drugs represents one of the top 10 global threats to public health that humanity faces. Antimicrobials are medicines used to treat infections in humans, animals and plants which include antibacterials (or antibiotics), antifungals, antivirals and antiparasitics. The use of antimicrobials exerts ecological pressure on microorganisms and contributes to the emergence and selection of antimicrobial resistant microorganisms. Therefore, the misuse and overuse of antimicrobials are the main driving factors in the development of drug-resistant pathogens, as well as poor hygiene. Antimicrobial resistance is an adaptation of the microorganism to its environment and occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites change over time and no longer respond to drugs making infections increasingly difficult or impossible to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread. Organisms resistant to antimicrobials are found in humans, animals, food, plants and the environment (soil, water and air). They can spread from person to person, between animals or between humans and animals (including from foods of animal origin) and the environment. The two main areas of prevention and management of antimicrobial resistance are therefore: i) prudent use of antimicrobials (i.e., only when needed, with the correct dose, at correct dose intervals and for a correct duration); ii) hygienic precautions to control the cross-transmission of antimicrobial-resistant microorganisms.

 

Part of the antimicrobial resistance burden is due to antimicrobials used in food producing animals. Antibiotics used to treat and prevent veterinary infections belong to the same chemical groups as those used in human medicine, so animals can be carriers of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics also used to treat infections in humans. Some bacteria, e.g., Salmonella and Campylobacter are associated with the consumption of contaminated foods. Indeed, due to exposure to antibiotics, animals may be carriers of Salmonella and Campylobacter resistant to antimicrobials which are transferred from animals to humans through food. Humans can also acquire antimicrobial-resistant bacteria from direct contact with animals, as is the case with some methicillin-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus.

 

In this scenario, natural products can be developed as novel multitarget antimicrobial agents capable of interacting with many molecular and physiological microbial targets. Furthermore, the combination of natural plant products (plant extracts, phytochemicals, or essential oils) with conventional antimicrobials offers another field of application and should be widely pursued as a therapeutic approach capable of sensitizing resistant pathogens and contributing to limit the antimicrobial resistance pandemics and the global burden of infectious diseases. In this very wide context, we invite investigators to submit both original research and review articles that explore all these aspects.


Keywords

Antimicrobial Resistance; Antimicrobials; Multidrug Resistance; One Health; Infectious Diseases; Food-Borne Diseases; Air-Borne Diseases; Food Safety; Veterinary Antibiotics; Pesticides; Agrochemicals

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