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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Metagenomics meets time series analysis: Unraveling microbial community dynamics

© 2015 The Authors. The recent increase in the number of microbial time series studies offers new insights into the stability and dynamics of microbial communities, from the world's oceans to human microbiota. Dedicated time series analysis tools allow taking full advantage of these data. Such tools can reveal periodic patterns, help to build predictive models or, on the contrary, quantify irregularities that make community behavior unpredictable. Microbial communities can change abruptly in…

Volume 25, Issue , 01 June 2015, Pp 56-66
Karoline Faust | Leo Lahti | Didier Gonze | Willem M. de Vos | Jeroen Raes

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

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

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

Ten years of pan-genome analyses

© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Next generation sequencing technologies have engendered a genome sequence data deluge in public databases. Genome analyses have transitioned from single or few genomes to hundreds to thousands of genomes. Pan-genome analyses provide a framework for estimating the genomic diversity of the dataset at hand and predicting the number of additional whole genomes sequences that would be necessary to fully characterize that diversity. We review recent implementations of the…

Volume 23, Issue , 01 February 2015, Pp 148-154
George Vernikos | Duccio Medini | David R. Riley | Hervé Tettelin

Inflammasome-mediated pyroptotic and apoptotic cell death, and defense against infection

Cell death is an effective strategy to limit intracellular infections. Canonical inflammasomes, including NLRP3, NLRC4, and AI M2, recruit and activate caspase-1 in response to a range of microbial stimuli and endogenous danger signals. Caspase-1 then promotes the secretion of IL-1β and IL-18 and a rapid form of lytic programmed cell death termed pyroptosis. A second inflammatory caspase, mouse caspase-11, mediates pyroptotic death through an unknown non-canonical inflammasome system in…

Volume 16, Issue 3, 01 June 2013, Pp 319-326
Youssef Aachoui | Vitaliya Sagulenko | Edward A. Miao | Katryn J. Stacey

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

Differential RNA-seq: The approach behind and the biological insight gained

RNA-sequencing has revolutionized the quantitative and qualitative analysis of transcriptomes in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. It provides a generic approach for gene expression profiling, annotation of transcript boundaries and operons, as well as identifying novel transcripts including small noncoding RNA molecules and antisense RNAs. We recently developed a differential RNA-seq (dRNA-seq) method which in addition to the above, yields information as to whether a given RNA is a primary or…

Volume 19, Issue 1, 01 January 2014, Pp 97-105
Cynthia M. Sharma | Jörg Vogel

Inflammasomes and host defenses against bacterial infections

The inflammasome has emerged as an important molecular protein complex which initiates proteolytic processing of pro-IL-1β and pro-IL-18 into mature inflammatory cytokines. In addition, inflammasomes initiate pyroptotic cell death that may be independent of those cytokines. Inflammasomes are central to elicit innate immune responses against many pathogens, and are key components in the induction of host defenses following bacterial infection. Here, we review recent discoveries related to NLRP1,…

Volume 16, Issue 1, 01 February 2013, Pp 23-31
Gregory I. Vladimer | Robyn Marty-Roix | Shubhendu Ghosh | Dan Weng | Egil Lien

Probiotics from research to market: The possibilities, risks and challenges

Probiotic foods can affect large parts of the population, while therapeutic applications have a less wide scope. While commercialization routes and regulatory requirements differ for both applications, both will need good scientific support. Today, probiotics are mainly used for gastrointestinal applications, their use can easily be extended to skin, oral and vaginal health. While most probiotics currently belong to food-grade species, the future may offer new functional microorganisms in food…

Volume 16, Issue 3, 01 June 2013, Pp 284-292
Benoit Foligné | Catherine Daniel | Bruno Pot

Fusobacterium nucleatum: A commensal-turned pathogen

© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Fusobacterium nucleatum is an anaerobic oral commensal and a periodontal pathogen associated with a wide spectrum of human diseases. This article reviews its implication in adverse pregnancy outcomes (chorioamnionitis, preterm birth, stillbirth, neonatal sepsis, preeclampsia), GI disorders (colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, appendicitis), cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, respiratory tract infections, Lemierre's syndrome and Alzheimer's disease. The…

Volume 23, Issue , 01 February 2015, Pp 141-147
Yiping W. Han

Autophagy as an immune effector against tuberculosis

The now well-accepted innate immunity paradigm that autophagy acts as a cell-autonomous defense against intracellular bacteria has its key origins in studies with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, an important human pathogen and a model microorganism infecting macrophages. A number of different factors have been identified that play into the anti-mycobacterial functions of autophagy, and recent in vivo studies in the mouse model of tuberculosis have uncovered additional anti-inflammatory and…

Volume 16, Issue 3, 01 June 2013, Pp 355-365
Steven B. Bradfute | Eliseo F. Castillo | John Arko-Mensah | Santosh Chauhan | Shanya Jiang | Michael Mandell | Vojo Deretic

Determinants of specificity in two-component signal transduction

Maintaining the faithful flow of information through signal transduction pathways is critical to the survival and proliferation of organisms. This problem is particularly challenging as many signaling proteins are part of large, paralogous families that are highly similar at the sequence and structural levels, increasing the risk of unwanted cross-talk. To detect environmental signals and process information, bacteria rely heavily on two-component signaling systems comprised of sensor histidine…

Volume 16, Issue 2, 01 April 2013, Pp 156-162
Anna I. Podgornaia | Michael T. Laub

Diagnosing oxidative stress in bacteria: not as easy as you might think

© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Microorganisms are vulnerable to elevated levels of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS). This situation has led to proposals that many natural stresses might be toxic specifically because they accelerate endogenous ROS formation. Such a mechanism has been convincingly demonstrated for redox-cycling compounds. However, the evidence is much weaker for most other stressors. The hypothesis that clinical antibiotics generate lethal ROS stress has attracted much…

Volume 24, Issue , 01 April 2015, Pp 124-131
James A. Imlay

The phenomenon of microbial uncultivability

Most of the microbial diversity on our planet cannot be cultivated, and remains inaccessible. To bring the missing species into culture, microbiologists have introduced over the past decade a number of innovations aiming to meet the demands of new microbes and better mimic their natural conditions. This resulted in a significant increase in microbial recovery yet the real reasons why so many microbes do not grow on artificial media remain largely unknown. The recently proposed scout model of…

Volume 16, Issue 5, 01 October 2013, Pp 636-642
S. S. Epstein