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  • The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has seen a notable global reduction in influenza cases of both influenza A and B viruses. In particular, the B/Yamagata lineage has not been isolated from April 2020 to August 2021, suggesting that this influenza lineage may have become extinct, which may provide opportunities for improving availability and effectiveness of influenza vaccines.

    • Marios Koutsakos
    • Adam K. Wheatley
    • Steve Rockman
  • Humankind relies on host–microbe symbioses and the ecosystems they form for diverse services, including food and health. It is important to understand how symbioses will fare in a world facing rapid global change and how adaptation and resilience of symbioses can be aided to secure their services for future generations.

    • Ute Hentschel
  • In settings with limited resources and a wide range of possible etiologies, molecular technologies offer an effective solution for infectious disease diagnostics, because they are agile, fast and flexible. Health systems that routinely use molecular diagnostics will achieve economies of scale, maximize limited expertize and rapidly respond to new threats.

    • Iruka N. Okeke
    • Chikwe Ihekweazu
  • The integrative environment-health sciences including One Health, Conservation Medicine, EcoHealth and Planetary Health embody the transdisciplinary synthesis needed to understand the multitude of factors that underpin emerging infections and their management. Future successes in confronting and resolving the complex causal basis of disease emergence to generate robust, systems-oriented risk reduction strategies that preserve both human health as well as promoting sustainable futures represent the ‘Moon Shot’ for the integrative environment-health sciences.

    • Matthew C. Fisher
    • Kris A. Murray
  • A global assessment of the structure and function of the crop microbiome is urgently needed for the development of effective and rationally designed microbiome technologies for sustainable agriculture. Such an effort will provide new knowledge on the key ecological and evolutionary interactions between plant species and their microbiomes that can be harnessed for increasing agriculture productivity.

    • Brajesh K. Singh
    • Pankaj Trivedi
    • Manuel Delgado-Baquerizo
  • Coronavirus disease 2019 may have a complex long-term impact on antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Coordinated strategies at the individual, health-care and policy levels are urgently required to inform necessary actions to reduce the potential longer-term impact on AMR and on access to effective antimicrobials.

    • Timothy M. Rawson
    • Damien Ming
    • Alison H. Holmes
  • To harness the potential of microbiome science across the broad range of relevant disciplines, new approaches to data infrastructure and transdisciplinary collaboration are necessary. The National Microbiome Data Collaborative is a new initiative to support microbiome data exploration and discovery through a collaborative, integrative data science ecosystem.

    • Elisha M. Wood-Charlson
    • Anubhav
    • Emiley A. Eloe-Fadrosh
  • To control antimicrobial resistance (AMR) will require approaches to develop, share and preserve antibiotics that are scaled to the scientific, economic and ethical dimensions of the crisis. The three cooperative, interdisciplinary, international councils proposed in this Comment by Carl Nathan exemplify what this will require.

    • Carl Nathan
  • Resistance to the current first-line antimalarials threatens the control of malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum and underscores the urgent need for new drugs with novel modes of action. Small-Saunders, Hagenah and Fidock present the argument that the parasite’s chloroquine resistance transporter (PfCRT) constitutes a promising target to combat multidrug-resistant malaria.

    • Jennifer L. Small-Saunders
    • Laura M. Hagenah
    • David A. Fidock
  • Faecal microbiota transplant (FMT) is now accepted as an effective treatment for Clostridioides difficile infections. With the increasing number of FMT treatments and clinical trials for other indications there is an urgent need for standardized regulations to ensure patient safety and focused development of safer, rationally designed, microbiota-based medicines.

    • Edward M. Giles
    • Gemma L. D’Adamo
    • Samuel C. Forster
  • Global change microbiology is a rapidly growing research field on microbial responses to global warming, overuse and pollution and on feedback mechanisms and functions that affect Earth’s element cycles and planetary health. In this Comment, Antje Boetius explores how this field could provide essential knowledge and sustainable solutions to the problems driven by global change.

    • Antje Boetius
  • The recent large outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in Western Africa resulted in greatly increased accumulation of human genotypic, phenotypic and clinical data, and improved our understanding of the spectrum of clinical manifestations. As a result, the WHO disease classification of EVD underwent major revision.

    • Jens H. Kuhn
    • Takuya Adachi
    • Zabulon Yoti
  • As we commemorate 100 years since the 1918 pandemic, research has advanced our knowledge of influenza virulence and pathogenesis, and has highlighted the role of animal reservoirs in the emergence of pandemic strains. Future efforts in understanding viral ecology, zoonosis and in integrating human and animal epidemiology should aid pandemic preparedness.

    • Rafael A. Medina
  • An improved understanding of the origins and spread of drug-resistant bacteria, as well as the identification of novel antimicrobial compounds and new drug combinations, will facilitate the development of better dosing regimens and novel strategies to manage drug resistance and prevent the dissemination of resistant bacteria.

    • Laura J. V. Piddock
  • S. Craig Cary and Noah Fierer call on microbial ecologists to develop robust strategies for long-term storage and archiving of samples in order to fully develop, and protect, the scientific record.

    • S. Craig Cary
    • Noah Fierer
  • The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) recently launched its third public–private partnership, ENABLE (European Gram-negative Antibacterial Engine), to tackle the shortage of effective antimicrobial agents for Gram-negative pathogens.

    • John H. Rex
  • The omission of viruses from investigations into the dynamics of complex biological systems results in many studies lacking a crucial part of the picture. Here, Forest Rohwer and Merry Youle outline why the viral component should receive far greater attention and describe how explorations that include it can yield a more complete picture, as well as foster novel biological discoveries.

    • Forest Rohwer
    • Merry Youle