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Focus on how viruses affect their hosts say Chief Editors of new specialty in Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology


Viruses continue to present humanity with major challenges, in terms of threats to health and quality of life. Furthermore, the continual appearance of novel variants or cross species virus transmission represents major global threats for the future.

A new specialty on Virus and Host in Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology

There is thus a pressing need to not only understand more completely how different viruses infect their target cells to induce their various pathologies, but also to determine what steps can be taken to block viruses at different points within their life cycles or during disease progression. Virus and Host, a new speciality section of Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology, aims to fulfil this need.

Colleen B. Jonsson

Virus and Host will expand our knowledge across human virus, particularly since, as Chief Editor Colleen Jonsson notes: “history has shown us that it is currently impossible to predict the next newly emerging virus, outbreak or pandemic”.

Lawrence Banks

Research published in Virus and Host will also provide a different perspective than the current product driven research which, Lawrence Banks says is limiting the field, “If the science is good with good mechanistic insights then it should be published regardless of the relevance towards a product or disease”.

How viruses affect their host is as if not more important than discovery of new viruses

“Virologists need to be encouraged to make their work more relevant without forgetting that basic science is the cornerstone of what we do. Unfortunately, a lot of the field is currently very descriptive – new viruses are continually being found and reported on – but we need to go back to ensuring that we focus on top class basic virological mechanisms of virus pathogenesis and how these viruses directly interact with the host,” says Lawrence Banks.

Aleem Siddiqui

Aleem Siddiqui adds, “It is clear that in virology, if one wishes to understand how infections progress in a given host, one needs to unravel the virus-host interactions that underly a given infectious process”.

Virus-host interactions that impact health

Virus and Host, led by Lawrence Banks of International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Trieste, Colleen Jonsson of University of Tennessee Health Science Center Memphis, and Aleem Siddiqui of University of California, San Diego, will provide a platform for studies addressing interactions between viruses and their human hosts, with an emphasis on those which present pressing health issues.

Virus and Host as well as its latest Research Topic, Viral Evasion Mechanisms of the Host Response, are open for submissions.

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Frontiers journals have some of the highest citation rates. Among the world’s 20 largest publishers in 2017, Frontiers ranks 4th most-cited with an average of 3.65 citations per article.  In total, Frontiers articles have received more than 700,000 citations to date.

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