Recent studies of disease processes or pathogenesis of infectious agents have demonstrated that in some cases there are limits to the long-established concept of "one microbe - one disease", as embodied in Koch's postulate.
It is now established that many pathogens interact with other micro-organisms (bacteria, but also protists, fungi, viruses or phages) which can influence or drive disease processes. For example, detailed researches on gut microbial communities has shown that commensal bacteria can become virulent following interactions with other micro-organisms, or the action of antibiotics leading to microbiome composition shifts. Another striking example is the influence of symbionts of arthropod vectors of human, animal or plant pathogens on the transmission of these pathogens. Such interactions may also exist in other ecosystems (soil, seeds, vertebrate hosts, vectors) and act on the pathogenic process.
It is within this context of microbial communities, that we define the new “pathobiome” concept, which represents the pathogenic agent within its biotic environment. The teams engaged in the study of “pathobiomes” cover the major groups of pathogens of animals, humans and plants : viruses, bacteria, fungi and protists. However, there have been only limited exchanges between teams. The PATHOBIOME congress will provide an opportunity to assess the state of the art of current research in this new and exciting cutting edge topic.