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Journal Information

Reflecting the full breadth of research on bacteria, fungi, parasites, prions and viruses, PLOS Pathogens publishes outstanding original research and commentary that significantly advance the understanding of pathogens and how they interact with their host organisms.


PLOS Pathogens is a community-driven and Open Access journal publishing ground-breaking work that significantly advances our understanding of pathogen biology. We welcome submissions in fundamental discovery, translational or applied research, encompassing all life forms.

We publish outstanding original research covering the full breadth of pathogens, including viruses, bacteria, parasites, fungi, and prions, as well as co-infections and microbial communities. Topics can include, but are not limited to: pathogenesis, pathogen replication, host-pathogen interactions, genomics and gene regulation, cell biology of infection, structural biology, immune responses, transmission, reservoirs, emerging pathogens, evolution, pathogens and the microbiome, pathogen-associated cancers, diagnostic biomarkers, therapeutics and drug resistance, and vaccines.

We publish commissioned Reviews, Pearls, Opinions, and Editorials, and welcome Short Reports and primary Research Article submissions including laboratory, clinical or field studies. Submissions that report computational analysis or resources along with experimental validation and meet the journal’s criteria for advance, utility, validation, and availability, will also be considered.


PLOS Pathogens features engaging primary research articles, informative Pearls, Reviews, Opinions, and occasional Editorials and Viewpoints.

Criteria for Publication

To be considered for publication in PLOS Pathogens, any given manuscript must satisfy the following criteria:

  • Originality

  • High importance to researchers in the field

  • High importance and broad interest to the community of researchers studying pathogens and pathogen-host interactions

  • Rigorous methodology

  • Substantial evidence for its conclusions
Consideration of complementary research

Scientists commonly refer to research as “scooped” when independent groups working on the same topic reach similar conclusions and one group publishes the results first. Although originality is one criterion for studies published in PLOS Pathogens, “scooped” manuscripts that confirm, replicate, extend, or are complementary to a recently published, significant advance are still eligible for consideration in PLOS Pathogens. The complementary manuscript must present equally or more rigorous findings than the published study and any submission must also meet the criteria for publication listed above. Authors of the complementary work have six months after the first article’s publication date to submit their manuscript to PLOS Pathogens. Studies must be performed comprehensively, and preliminary placeholder studies will not be considered.

Editorial Oversight

PLOS Pathogens is run by an international Editorial Board, headed by Editor-in-Chief Michael Malim (King’s College London, London, UK).


Michael Malim

Editorial Board

View the PLOS Pathogens Editorial Board.

Submit Your Manuscript

For more information about submitting to PLOS Pathogens, read our checklist for getting started and our guidelines for preparing a submission.

Indexing and Archiving

All PLOS journals are widely indexed by major services such as Crossref, Dimensions, DOAJ, Google Scholar, PubMed, PubMed Central, Scopus, and Web of Science.

PLOS Pathogens is also indexed by the following services to ensure research content is accessible and discoverable as widely as possible: AGRICOLA, Biological Abstracts, BIOSYS Previews, CABI CAB Abstracts, CABI Global Health, CAPES, CAS, CNKI, Embase, Journal Guide, and MEDLINE.

Publication Fees

PLOS employs several business models to support equitable Open Access. A full list of our publication fees, funding initiatives and fee assistance information is available here.

Open Access

PLOS applies the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license to works we publish. Under this license, authors agree to make articles legally available for reuse, without permission or fees, for virtually any purpose. Anyone may copy, distribute, or reuse these articles, as long as the author and original source are properly cited. Learn more.

Journal Impact and Article Metrics

PLOS does not consider Impact Factor to be a reliable or useful metric to assess the performance of individual articles. PLOS supports DORA – the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment – and does not promote our journal Impact Factors. We will provide the metric to individuals when specifically requested.

Read more about our pledge with DORA.

PLOS promotes the use of Article-Level Metrics (ALMs), which enable scientists and the general public to engage more dynamically with published research. ALMs reflect the changing impact of research over time, incorporate academic as well as social impacts of research, and assess the impact of research before the accrual of academic citations. Read more about ALMs.


PLOS is a nonprofit, Open Access publisher empowering researchers to accelerate progress in science and medicine by leading a transformation in research communication.


Visit the Contact page for details about whom to contact with different queries.