Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Dear Colleagues,

There could hardly be a better time to realise the importance of infectious diseases for public health. The World Health Organization’s statistics show that communicable diseases such as lower respiratory tract infections, diarrhoeal diseases, and tuberculosis still place within the top ten causes of death worldwide. Meanwhile, the ones that reach public eye are most often newly emerged pathogens or ones that have gained the ability to infect humans, such as the unfortunate protagonist of the recent months, SARS-CoV-2. However, it is imperative we do not forget about microorganisms that have existed alongside humanity for millennia which still constitute a danger to public health, especially in the age of increasingly common drug resistance. Mycobacterium tuberculosis is without doubt deserving of attention, being the etiological factor of tuberculosis. This microbe, identified by Robert Koch in 1882, is responsible for 10 million new cases of tuberculosis and 1.5 million deaths every year. Researching the primary processes within mycobacteria cells seems to be key to understanding the virulence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and would form a basis in the search for new targets and drugs effective in treating it. These primary processes include those connected to the metabolism of nucleic acids (i.e., DNA replication and repair, RNA decay and maturation), cell division, cell wall component biosynthesis, the ability to degrade cholesterol, and interactions with cellular and soluble host molecules.

As such, within a single thematic Issue, we would like to gather research dedicated to the study and explanation of the molecular basis of metabolic processes in mycobacteria and host–pathogen interactions. These are an essential element on the route to understanding the pathogenetic processes of such dangerous microbes, and constitute a possible avenue for finding new targets for a new generation of effective anti-mycobacteria drugs. We look forward to your contributions.

Prof. Dr. Jarosław Dziadek
Prof. Dr. Jolanta Zakrzewska-Czerwińska
Guest Editors

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