The perpetual challenge of infectious diseases.

  title={The perpetual challenge of infectious diseases.},
  author={Anthony S. Fauci and David M. Morens},
  journal={The New England journal of medicine},
  volume={366 5},
  • A. FauciD. Morens
  • Published 1 February 2012
  • Biology
  • The New England journal of medicine
During the past 200 years, our understanding of infectious diseases has radically evolved from the identification of microbes, to defining their genetic structure, to the development of focused antimicrobial therapies, to the realization of vector biology. This article highlights the tremendous advances that have been made in the field. 

Figures and Tables from this paper

Virus discovery: one step beyond

New Viruses in Idiopathic Human Diarrhea Cases, the Netherlands

Diarrhea samples of patients with unexplained gastroenteritis from the Netherlands were analyzed by using viral metagenomics and novel circular DNA viruses, bufaviruses, and genogroup III picobirnaviruses were identified, expanding the knowledge of the human virome.

Pathogen-Specific Immune Fingerprints during Acute Infection: The Diagnostic Potential of Human γδ T-Cells

There is now an urgent call for antimicrobial stewardship programs that aim to prescribe antibiotics more prudently, and to tailor their use to defined patient groups who will benefit most, with anti-microbial resistances developing on an unprecedented global scale.

Overview of Community-Acquired Pneumonia and the Role of Inflammatory Mechanisms in the Immunopathogenesis of Severe Pneumococcal Disease

The review is focused on the pneumococcus, specifically the major virulence factors of this microbial pathogen and their role in triggering overexuberant inflammatory responses which contribute to the immunopathogenesis of invasive disease.

Emerging Infectious Diseases

  • D. McArthur
  • Medicine
    Nursing Clinics of North America
  • 2019

Antimicrobial agents: the new theriac?

  • M. Labro
  • Biology
    Expert review of anti-infective therapy
  • 2012
Originally, antimicrobial agents have been designed to combat infectious agents, but with the deepening of scientific knowledge, their role has extended beyond their classical limits, and the armamentarium is still increasing.

Old foes, new challenges: syphilis, cholera and TB.

Current information concerning the biology and epidemiology of these bacterial diseases with the goal of developing a better understanding of factors that have led to their resurgence and that threaten to compromise their control are reviewed.

Antibiotic resistance profiles in Panama: Trends from 2007 to 2013

It is the exposure to these medications what provides the necessary selective pressure for the rise and spread of resistant pathogens and the force behind the increasing rates of antibiotic resistance is found on the misuse and abuse of antibacterial agents.

β‐Lactam antimicrobials: what have you done for me lately?

  • G. Talbot
  • Biology, Medicine
    Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
  • 2013
The “perpetual challenge of infectious diseases” is no better exemplified than by the phenomena of rapid emergence and spread of bacterial resistance, and one can reasonably ask if there is hope for the future of β‐lactams.

The Trans-zoonotic Virome interface: Measures to balance, control and treat epidemics

The global virome: The viruses have a global distribution, phylogenetic diversity and host specifi city, and trans-species interactions of viruses with bacteria, small eukaryotes and host are associated with various zoonotic viral diseases and disease progression.



The challenge of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases

Infectious diseases have for centuries ranked with wars and famine as major challenges to human progress and survival. They remain among the leading causes of death and disability worldwide. Against

Microbial genomics and infectious diseases.

  • D. Relman
  • Medicine
    The New England journal of medicine
  • 2011
The myriad effects of genomic information on the understanding of and response to microbial infections are discussed.

The persistent legacy of the 1918 influenza virus.

Descendants of the H1N1 influenza A virus that caused the catastrophic and historic pandemic of 1918–1919 continue to contribute their genes to new viruses, causing new pandemics, epidemics, and

The Origin of Plagues: Old and New

The public must be vigilant to the possibility of new epidemics, learn more about the biology and epidemiology of microbes, and strengthen systems of surveillance and detection.

The virology, epidemiology, and clinical impact of West Nile virus: a decade of advancements in research since its introduction into the Western Hemisphere

A review of the virology of WNV, history, epidemiology, clinical features, pathology of infection, the innate and adaptive immune response, host risk factors for developing severe disease, clinical sequelae following severe Disease, chronic infection, and the future of prevention is provided.

Ecological Origins of Novel Human Pathogens

The process of pathogen emergence over both ecological and evolutionary time scales is reviewed by reference to the “pathogen pyramid,” and the public health implications of the continuing emergence of new pathogens are considered.

Successful Transmission of a Retrovirus Depends on the Commensal Microbiota

It is found that MMTV, when ingested by newborn mice, stimulates a state of unresponsiveness toward viral antigens, which reveals the fundamental importance of commensal microbiota in viral infections.

The bumpy road to polio eradication.

  • J. Modlin
  • Medicine
    The New England journal of medicine
  • 2010
Dr. John Modlin writes that perhaps the biggest bump in the road has been the emergence of circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses: genetically unstable Sabin-strain viruses that revert toward the

Structure‐based design of anti‐infectives

This review explores the exciting opportunities for antimalarial, antiviral, and antibacterial drug discovery arising from the new paradigm of structure‐based drug design.

The Crisis in Antibiotic Resistance

  • H. Neu
  • Medicine, Biology
  • 1992
Mechanisms such as antibiotic control programs, better hygiene, and synthesis of agents with improved antimicrobial activity need to be adopted in order to limit bacterial resistance.