The Current Opinion journals were developed out of the recognition that it is increasingly difficult for specialists to keep up to date with the expanding volume of information published in their subject. Elsevier’s Current Opinion journals comprise of 26 leading titles in life sciences and adjacent fields.

Current Opinion in Microbiology

5-Year Impact Factor: 6.850
Issues per year: 6 issues
Editorial Board

Current Opinion in Microbiology

Current Opinion in Microbiology is a systematic review journal that aims to provide specialists with a unique and educational platform to keep up-to-date with the expanding volume of information published in the field of microbiology. It consists of 6 issues per year covering the following 11 sections, each of which is reviewed once a year:

  • Host-microbe interactions: bacteria
  • Cell regulation
  • Environmental microbiology
  • Host-microbe interactions: fungi/parasites/viruses
  • Antimicrobials
  • Microbial systems biology
  • Growth and development: eukaryotes/prokaryotes

There is also a section that changes every year to reflect hot topics in the field.

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Best Cited over the last year.

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Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and human intestinal health

Faecalibacterium prausnitzii is the most abundant bacterium in the human intestinal microbiota of healthy adults, representing more than 5% of the total bacterial population. Over the past five years, an increasing number of studies have clearly described the importance of this highly metabolically active commensal bacterium as a component of the healthy human microbiota. Changes in the abundance of F. prausnitzii have been linked to dysbiosis in several human disorders. Administration of F.…

Volume 16, Issue 3, 01 June 2013, Pp 255-261
S. Miquel | R. Martín | O. Rossi | L. G. Bermúdez-Humarán | J. M. Chatel | H. Sokol | M. Thomas | J. M. Wells | P. Langella

Global epidemiology of community-associated methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA)

During the 1990s, various reports of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) infections appeared in the literature, caused by novel strains genetically distinct from traditional healthcare-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA). Numerous lineages of CA-MRSA have since emerged on every continent, several of which have spread internationally, most notably USA300. CA-MRSA strains are increasingly implicated in nosocomial infections, and may eventually displace HA-MRSA strains…

Volume 15, Issue 5, 01 October 2012, Pp 588-595
José R. Mediavilla | Liang Chen | Barun Mathema | Barry N. Kreiswirth

Bacterial biofilm development as a multicellular adaptation: Antibiotic resistance and new therapeutic strategies

Bacteria have evolved the ability to form multicellular, surface-adherent communities called biofilms that allow survival in hostile environments. In clinical settings, bacteria are exposed to various sources of stress, including antibiotics, nutrient limitation, anaerobiosis, heat shock, etc., which in turn trigger adaptive responses in bacterial cells. The combination of this and other defense mechanisms results in the formation of highly (adaptively) resistant multicellular structures that…

Volume 16, Issue 5, 01 October 2013, Pp 580-589
César De la Fuente-Núñez | Fany Reffuveille | Lucía Fernández | Robert E W Hancock

You've come a long way: C-di-GMP signaling

Cyclic dimeric guanosine monophosphate (c-di-GMP) is a common, bacterial second messenger that regulates diverse cellular processes in bacteria. Opposing activities of diguanylate cyclases (DGCs) and phosphodiesterases (PDEs) control c-di-GMP homeostasis in the cell. Many microbes have a large number of genes encoding DGCs and PDEs that are predicted to be part of c-di-GMP signaling networks. Other building blocks of these networks are c-di-GMP receptors which sense the cellular levels of the…

Volume 15, Issue 2, 01 April 2012, Pp 140-146
Holger Sondermann | Nicholas J. Shikuma | Fitnat H. Yildiz

One chromosome, one contig: Complete microbial genomes from long-read sequencing and assembly

© 2014 The Authors. Like a jigsaw puzzle with large pieces, a genome sequenced with long reads is easier to assemble. However, recent sequencing technologies have favored lowering per-base cost at the expense of read length. This has dramatically reduced sequencing cost, but resulted in fragmented assemblies, which negatively affect downstream analyses and hinder the creation of finished (gapless, high-quality) genomes. In contrast, emerging long-read sequencing technologies can now produce…

Volume 23, Issue , 01 February 2015, Pp 110-120
Sergey Koren | Adam M. Phillippy

Role of mucus layers in gut infection and inflammation

The intestinal mucus is an efficient system for protecting the epithelium from bacteria by promoting their clearance and separating them from the epithelial cells, thereby inhibiting inflammation and infection. The function of the colon inner mucus layer is especially important as this explains how we can harbor the large number of bacteria in our gut. The major component of this mucus system is the MUC2 mucin which organizes the mucus by its enormously large net-like polymers. Pathogenic…

Volume 15, Issue 1, 01 February 2012, Pp 57-62
Gunnar C. Hansson

Staphylococcus aureus toxins

Staphylococcus aureus is a dangerous pathogen that causes a variety of severe diseases. The virulence of S. aureus is defined by a large repertoire of virulence factors, among which secreted toxins play a preeminent role. Many S. aureus toxins damage biological membranes, leading to cell death. In particular, S. aureus produces potent hemolysins and leukotoxins. Among the latter, some were recently identified to lyse neutrophils after ingestion, representing an especially powerful weapon…

Volume 17, Issue 1, 01 February 2014, Pp 32-37
Michael Otto

Single cell genomics: An individual look at microbes

Single cell genomics (SCG) uncovers hereditary information at the most basic level of biological organization. It is emerging as a powerful complement to cultivation-based and microbial community-focused research approaches. SCG has been instrumental in identifying metabolic features, evolutionary histories and inter-organismal interactions of the uncultured microbial groups that dominate many environments and biogeochemical cycles. The SCG approach also holds great promise in microbial…

Volume 15, Issue 5, 01 October 2012, Pp 613-620
Ramunas Stepanauskas

Histidine kinases and response regulators in networks

Two-component systems, composed of a histidine kinase (HK) and a response regulator (RR), are the major signal transduction devices in bacteria. Originally it was thought that these two components function as linear, phosphorylation-driven stimulus-response system. Here, we will review how accessory proteins are employed by HKs and RRs to mediate signal integration, scaffolding, interconnection and allosteric regulation, and how these two components are embedded in regulatory networks. © 2011…

Volume 15, Issue 2, 01 April 2012, Pp 118-124
Kirsten Jung | Luitpold Fried | Stefan Behr | Ralf Heermann

Colonic bacterial metabolites and human health

The influence of the microbial-mammalian metabolic axis is becoming increasingly important for human health. Bacterial fermentation of carbohydrates (CHOs) and proteins produces short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) and a range of other metabolites including those from aromatic amino acid (AAA) fermentation. SCFA influence host health as energy sources and via multiple signalling mechanisms. Bacterial transformation of fibre-related phytochemicals is associated with a reduced incidence of several…

Volume 16, Issue 3, 01 June 2013, Pp 246-254
Wendy R. Russell | Lesley Hoyles | Harry J. Flint | Marc Emmanuel Dumas

Importance of the Candida albicans cell wall during commensalism and infection

An imbalance of the normal microbial flora, breakage of epithelial barriers or dysfunction of the immune system favour the transition of the human pathogenic yeast Candida albicans from a commensal to a pathogen. C. albicans has evolved to be adapted as a commensal on mucosal surfaces. As a commensal it has also acquired attributes, which are necessary to avoid or overcome the host defence mechanisms. The human host has also co-evolved to recognize and eliminate potential fungal invaders. Many…

Volume 15, Issue 4, 01 August 2012, Pp 406-412
Neil A R Gow | Bernhard Hube

Gulping rather than sipping: Macropinocytosis as a way of virus entry

Macropinocytosis has emerged as a major endocytic mechanism in the cell entry of animal viruses. The process differs fundamentally from other endocytic mechanisms involved in virus internalization. By activating growth factor receptors or other signaling molecules, plasma membrane-bound viruses trigger the activation of a signaling pathway. When amplified, this causes a transient, global change in cell behavior. The consequences of this change include the actin-dependent formation of membrane…

Volume 15, Issue 4, 01 August 2012, Pp 490-499
Jason Mercer | Ari Helenius

Recurrent infections and immune evasion strategies of Staphylococcus aureus

Staphylococcus aureus causes purulent skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) that frequently reoccur. Staphylococal SSTIs can lead to invasive disease and sepsis, which are among the most significant causes of infectious disease mortality in both developed and developing countries. Human or animal infections with S. aureus do not elicit protective immunity against staphylococcal diseases. Here we review what is known about the immune evasive strategies of S. aureus that enable the pathogen's…

Volume 15, Issue 1, 01 February 2012, Pp 92-99
Hwan Keun Kim | Vilasack Thammavongsa | Olaf Schneewind | Dominique Missiakas

Genetic control of asexual sporulation in filamentous fungi

Asexual sporulation (conidiation) in the ascomycetous filamentous fungi involves the formation of conidia, formed on specialized structures called conidiophores. Conidiation in filamentous fungi involves many common themes including spatial and temporal regulation of gene expression, specialized cellular differentiation, intra-/inter-cellular communications, and response to environmental factors. The commencement, progression and completion of conidiation are regulated by multiple positive and…

Volume 15, Issue 6, 01 December 2012, Pp 669-677
Hee Soo Park | Jae Hyuk Yu

Uropathogenic Escherichia coli virulence and innate immune responses during urinary tract infection

Urinary tract infections (UTI) are among the most common infectious diseases of humans and are the most common nosocomial infections in the developed world. It is estimated that 40-50% of women and 5% of men will develop a UTI in their lifetime, and UTI accounts for more than 1. million hospitalizations and $1.6 billion in medical expenses each year in the USA. Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) is the primary cause of UTI. This review presents an overview of recent discoveries related to…

Volume 16, Issue 1, 01 February 2013, Pp 100-107
Glen C. Ulett | Makrina Totsika | Kolja Schaale | Alison J. Carey | Matthew J. Sweet | Mark A. Schembri

Endosymbiotic theory for organelle origins

© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Endosymbiotic theory goes back over 100 years. It explains the similarity of chloroplasts and mitochondria to free-living prokaryotes by suggesting that the organelles arose from prokaryotes through (endo)symbiosis. Gene trees provide important evidence in favour of symbiotic theory at a coarse-grained level, but the finer we get into the details of branches in trees containing dozens or hundreds of taxa, the more equivocal evidence for endosymbiotic events sometimes…

Volume 22, Issue , 01 December 2014, Pp 38-48
Verena Zimorski | Chuan Ku | William F. Martin | Sven B. Gould

Biofilm dispersion and quorum sensing

Biofilm development and quorum sensing (QS) are closely interconnected processes. Biofilm formation is a cooperative group behaviour that involves bacterial populations living embedded in a self-produced extracellular matrix. QS is a cell-cell communication mechanism that synchronizes gene expression in response to population cell density. Intuitively, it would appear that QS might coordinate the switch to a biofilm lifestyle when the population density reaches a threshold level. However,…

Volume 18, Issue 1, 01 January 2014, Pp 96-104
Cristina Solano | Maite Echeverz | Iñigo Lasa

Targeting of plant pattern recognition receptor-triggered immunity by bacterial type-III secretion system effectors

© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. During infection, microbes are detected by surface-localized pattern recognition receptors (PRRs), leading to an innate immune response that prevents microbial ingress. Therefore, successful pathogens must evade or inhibit PRR-triggered immunity to cause disease. In the past decade, a number of type-III secretion system effector (T3Es) proteins from plant pathogenic bacteria have been shown to suppress this layer of innate immunity. More recently, the detailed mechanisms of…

Volume 23, Issue , 01 February 2015, Pp 14-22
Alberto P. Macho | Cyril Zipfel

Genomic transition of enterococci from gut commensals to leading causes of multidrug-resistant hospital infection in the antibiotic era

The enterococci evolved over eons as highly adapted members of gastrointestinal consortia of a wide variety of hosts, but for reasons that are not entirely clear, emerged in the 1970s as leading causes of multidrug resistant hospital infection. Hospital-adapted pathogenic isolates are characterized by the presence of multiple mobile elements conferring antibiotic resistance, as well as pathogenicity islands, capsule loci and other variable traits. Enterococci may have been primed to emerge…

Volume 16, Issue 1, 01 February 2013, Pp 10-16
Michael S. Gilmore | Francois Lebreton | Willem van Schaik

Viral pathogen discovery

Viral pathogen discovery is of critical importance to clinical microbiology, infectious diseases, and public health. Genomic approaches for pathogen discovery, including consensus polymerase chain reaction (PCR), microarrays, and unbiased next-generation sequencing (NGS), have the capacity to comprehensively identify novel microbes present in clinical samples. Although numerous challenges remain to be addressed, including the bioinformatics analysis and interpretation of large datasets, these…

Volume 16, Issue 4, 01 August 2013, Pp 468-478
Charles Y. Chiu

The role of 'eat-me' signals and autophagy cargo receptors in innate immunity

Selective autophagy is an important effector mechanism of cell autonomous immunity, in particular against invasive bacterial species. Anti-bacterial autophagy is activated by rupture of bacteria-containing vacuoles and exposure of bacteria to the cytosol. The autophagy cargo receptors p62, NDP52 and Optineurin detect incoming bacteria that have become associated with specific 'eat-me' signals such as Galectin-8 and poly-ubiquitin and feed them into the autophagy pathway via interactions with…

Volume 16, Issue 3, 01 June 2013, Pp 339-348
Keith B. Boyle | Felix Randow

The adoptive transfer of behavioral phenotype via the intestinal microbiota: Experimental evidence and clinical implications

There is growing interest in the ability of the intestinal microbiome to influence host function within and beyond the gastrointestinal tract. Here we review evidence of microbiome-brain interactions in mice and focus on the ability to transfer behavioral traits between mouse strains using fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT). Transplantation alters brain chemistry and behavior in recipient ex-germ free mice, raising the possibility of using FMT for disorders of the central nervous system,…

Volume 16, Issue 3, 01 June 2013, Pp 240-245
Stephen M. Collins | Zain Kassam | Premysl Bercik

Genetic control of infection-related development in Magnaporthe oryzae

Diseases caused by various pathogenic fungi pose a serious threat to global food security. Despite their differences in life cycles, fungal pathogens use well-conserved genetic mechanisms to regulate different developmental and infection processes. This review focuses on the key signaling pathways and recent advances in Magnaporthe oryzae, which is a model for studying fungal-plant interactions. In addition to the core components, a number of upstream genes and downstream targets of the…

Volume 15, Issue 6, 01 December 2012, Pp 678-684
Guotian Li | Xiaoying Zhou | Jin Rong Xu

Synthetic microbial communities

While natural microbial communities are composed of a mix of microbes with often unknown functions, the construction of synthetic microbial communities allows for the generation of defined systems with reduced complexity. Used in a top-down approach, synthetic communities serve as model systems to ask questions about the performance and stability of microbial communities. In a second, bottom-up approach, synthetic microbial communities are used to study which conditions are necessary to…

Volume 18, Issue 1, 01 January 2014, Pp 72-77
Tobias Großkopf | Orkun S. Soyer

Antimicrobials as promoters of genetic variation

The main causes of antibiotic resistance are the selection of naturally occurring resistant variants and horizontal gene transfer processes. In recent years, the implications of antibiotic contact or treatment in drug resistance acquisition by bacteria have been gradually more evident. The ultimate source of bacterial genetic alterations to face antibiotic toxicity is mutation. All evidence points to antibiotics, especially when present at sublethal concentrations, as responsible for increasing…

Volume 15, Issue 5, 01 October 2012, Pp 561-569
Jesús Blázquez | Alejandro Couce | Jerónimo Rodríguez-Beltrán | Alexandro Rodríguez-Rojas