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Population Genetics and Microevolution of Pathogens

Message from the Guest Editor Dr. Michel Tibayrenc

Institute of Development, Research, 34394 CEDEX 5, Montpellier, France

“Classic” genetic markers such as multilocus enzyme electrophoresis (MLEE), random primed amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD), restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP), pulse field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), and multilocus sequence typing (MLST) have revolutionized molecular epidemiology and our knowledge of the population genetics of pathogens (viruses, bacteria, parasitic protozoa, yeasts, fungi, and helminths). However, this field has been upset by the advent of genomic markers (whole genome sequencing (WGS) and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs)) that allow for a much higher level of resolution. This has been made possible by epidemiological surveys at tiny space and time scales—

down to a few years and districts of the same city (“measurably evolving pathogens”). This Special Issue will update the most recent contributions to this approach and will include a comparative survey of a wide range of pathogen species. Since the cost of sequencing techniques is dramatically lowering, one can expect that the most sophisticated typing techniques will become routine in the near future.

Message from the Editor-in-Chief Prof. Dr. Lawrence S. Young

Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK

The worldwide impact of infectious disease is incalculable. The consequences for human health in terms of morbidity and mortality are obvious and vast but, when infections of animals and plants are also taken into account, it is hard to imagine any other disease that has such a significant impact on our lives—on healthcare systems, on agriculture and on world economics. Pathogens is proud to continue to serve the international community by publishing high quality studies that further our understanding of infection and have meaningful consequences for disease intervention.

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