Volume 1, Number 4—October 1995
News and Notes
Emerging Infectious Diseases Featured at ICAAC/IDSA Meeting
Emerging infectious diseases were highlighted recently at a joint meeting of the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) in San Francisco. In his opening address, IDSA President Vincent Andriole stated that the topic of most pressing concern to both organizations was new and reemerging pathogens. Presentations were made on the following subjects: arenavirus hemorrhagic fevers; changing virulence of streptococcal infections; cryptosporidia, cyclospora, and microsporidia; dengue/dengue hemorrhagic fever; emerging fungal pathogens; epidemic diphtheria in the newly independent states; Escherichia coli O157:H7; Helicobacter pylori; human ehrlichioses; new lymphotropic herperviruses, and rabies.
Common themes emanated from the presentations. The speakers noted that infectious diseases continue to occur throughout the world, both sporadically and as outbreaks, because of multiple factors. They observed that the incidence and prevalence of infectious diseases are increasing in certain populations, particularly among immunocompromised persons. Additionally, new infectious diseases and etiologic agents continue to be identified with remarkable frequency and microorganisms are being identified as causes of chronic diseases, including cancer. Several presenters expressed concern about the migrations of animal reservoirs and arthropod vectors into new populations and geographic areas. The speakers also called for additional support for the public health infrastructure and for basic sciences that provide the foundation for infectious disease prevention and treatment.