Microbial endocrinology represents a newly emerging interdisciplinary field that is formed by the intersection of the fields of neurobiology and microbiology. This book will introduce a new perspective to the current understanding not only of the factors that mediate the ability of microbes to cause disease, but also to the mechanisms that maintain normal homeostasis. The discovery that microbes can directly respond to neuroendocrine hormones, as evidenced by increased growth and production of virulence-associated factors, provides for a new framework with which to investigate how microorganisms interface not only with vertebrates, but also with invertebrates and even plants. The reader will learn that the neuroendocrine hormones that one most commonly associates with mammals are actually found throughout the plant, insect and microbial communities to an extent that will undoubtedly surprise many, and most importantly, how interactions between microbes and neuroendocrine hormones can influence the pathophysiology of infectious disease.
The book is intended for anyone who is interested in the interaction of microbes with both the animal and plant kingdoms. This book is an interdisciplinary effort that will cover the presence of neuroendocrine hormones in vertebrates, invertebrates, plants and microorganisms themselves and how the ability of bacteria to directly respond to these neuroendocrine hormones introduces completely new paradigms in understanding infectious disease pathogenesis.