The search for archaeal pathogens

  title={The search for archaeal pathogens},
  author={Miriam Shiffman and Bambos M. Charalambous},
  journal={Reviews in Medical Microbiology},
Archaea were only classified as a separate kingdom in the late 20th century. Archaea are associated with the ancient origins of life on earth and were assumed to inhabit only extreme environments like hydrothermal vents and salt lakes. However, the surprising discovery that Archaea are widespread and include mesophiles has led to the question of what role these organisms might play in human health and disease. In contrast to hundreds of bacterial species, only a few archaeal species have been… 
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Why Archaea Are Limited in Their Exploitation of Other, Living Organisms
What might limit the potential for Archaea to serve as exploiters of other, living organisms is considered and it is suggested that a spectrum likely exists in which eukaryotes—among the three cellular domains—are most frequently exploitive of other species while Archaea are the least.
Biocommunication of Archaea


The origin and evolution of Archaea: a state of the art
Molecular, genomics and phylogenetics data strengthen Woese's definition of Archaea as a third domain of life in addition to Bacteria and Eukarya, and a profound divergence between two major phyla that may not have an equivalent in the other two domains of life.
Pathogenic archaea: do they exist?
The view of this report is that, although archaea can presently be described as non-pathogenic, they have the potential to be (discovered as) pathogens.
Archaea and Their Potential Role in Human Disease
It is puzzling that despite being one of the most numerous and ubiquitous life forms on earth, no member of the domain Archaea has been described as a human pathogen.
Pathogenic archaebacteria: do they not exist because archaebacteria use different vitamins?
  • W. Martin
  • Biology
    BioEssays : news and reviews in molecular, cellular and developmental biology
  • 2004
The answer to the question of why there are no archaebacterial pathogens is probably: ‘cofactors’ (also called ‘‘vitamins’’ in the context of nourishment).
Halophilic archaea in the human intestinal mucosa.
Analysis of the microbiota in colonic mucosal biopsies from patients with inflammatory bowel disease found 16S rDNA sequences representing a phylogenetically rich diversity of halophilic archaea from the Halobacteriaceae (haloarchaea), including novel phylotypes, and suggests that they may be members of the mucosal microbiota.
Genomic and metabolic adaptations of Methanobrevibacter smithii to the human gut
Results indicate that M. smithii is well equipped to persist in the distal intestine through production of surface glycans resembling those found in the gut mucosa, and regulated expression of adhesin-like proteins, and consumption of a variety of fermentation products produced by saccharolytic bacteria, and effective competition for nitrogenous nutrient pools.
Lateral Gene Transfer (LGT) between Archaea and Escherichia coli is a contributor to the emergence of novel infectious disease
  • D. Faguy
  • Biology
    BMC infectious diseases
  • 2003
This hypothesis, which focuses on archaea and E. coli, is that archaeal-like transferred genes that are associated with virulence in bacteria represent a clear model for the emergence of virulence genes.
Methanogenic archaea in health and disease: a novel paradigm of microbial pathogenesis.
A humanized gnotobiotic mouse model of host-archaeal-bacterial mutualism.
  • B. Samuel, J. Gordon
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 2006
A link between this archaeon, prioritized bacterial utilization of polysaccharides commonly encountered in the authors' modern diets, and host energy balance is demonstrated and demonstrate a link between B. thetaiotaomicron and the contributions of Archaea to digestive health.