Preface| Volume 22, ISSUE 4, Pxi, December 2002

Emerging and re-emerging infectious disease

      For those involved in the diagnosis and management of infectious diseases, the last several years have been ones of wonder and enlightenment. Just when it seemed that antimicrobials and vaccines were eradicating many of the scourges of the human race, a brigade of new and old pathogens appeared or reappeared. This issue of the Clinics in Laboratory Medicine contains the stories of several microbes that now challenge us to respond.
      I have not attempted to present a comprehensive treatise on all of the new or re-recognized infections. Rather, representative mycobacteria, bacteria, viruses, and parasites have been selected as prime examples of recent epidemiologic surprises. Each author in this issue has been selected because of their direct personal study of the agent they describe. Moreover, each author effectively bridges the gap between the laboratory and the clinic, bringing to the reader the best examples of “translational” research.
      I hope that readers will learn much from this issue and will find ways to apply the many pieces of information in medical practice.


      W. Lawrence Drew, MD, PhD Guest Editor