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The skin is the body’s first line of defense, protecting the host against environmental or microbial insults by the imposition of a physical barrier. Upon microbial entry into wounds, innate immune cells generate antimicrobial proteins to prevent bacterial infections. A well-studied example is the innate immune circuits of IL-17 and IL-22, which are activated by...

Harmful algal bloom (HAB) incidence has been increasing over the past decades, particularly in various inland lakes and rivers in the United States. Human activities such as wastewater discharge and fertilizer, pesticide and urban water runoff into water bodies leads to algal proliferation and HABs. HABs secrete diverse cyanotoxins as secondary metabolites which may come...

Over the last decade, the field of metagenomics has grown extensively, leading to an exponential increase in sequencing data in public data repositories. Availability of this huge collection of data has accelerated the discovery of novel microbiome-related biomarkers and microbiome-based novel biomedical therapeutics. One of the key steps in identifying potential biomarkers or lead candidates...

Plastic particles < 5 mm are classified as microplastics. Microplastics are present in almost all aquatic ecosystems, from the Arctic to the deep ocean. Moreover, microplastics can migrate between different aquatic environments, such as lakes, seas and oceans. This environmental problem becomes a health concern when the microplastics enter into a new aquatic ecosystem where...

Bladder cancer (BC) is the fourth most prevalent cancer in men and 11th in women. Environmental toxins that enter the body are eventually excreted through kidneys, and they interact with the urinary tract microbiome to generate metabolites that may contribute to the development of BC. Members of the microbiome impact production of HBDs2 and 3...

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a pressing threat to human health, both locally and globally. AMR genes increase the resistance of microbes against common antibiotics, making infections increasingly difficult to treat. Different microbes may bear different AMR genes, and different AMR genes may confer variable resistance against different antimicrobials. All AMR genes in a community constitute...