Third Biannual International Meeting on Microbial Pathogenesis and Host Response
Final rept. 1 Sep 2001-28 Feb 2002
COLD SPRING HARBOR LAB OF QUANTITATIVE BIOLOGY NY
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Throughout recorded history microbial pathogens have been a major cause of human disease and mortality. However, with the advent of effective antibiotics it seemed like the war on microbes had been won. Hence, for several decades health-related research shifted to topics like cancer, heart disease, and genetic diseases. While research in microbial pathogenesis slowed, the microbes continued to evolve. Microbial resistance to antibiotics developed faster than new antibiotics could be made available, and the resistance spread throughout the microbial world. The global expansion of food distribution networks increased the rapid dissemination of microbial pathogens. Simultaneously, emerging microbial pathogens filled new ecological niches, such as indwelling medical devices that provide a surface for biofilms and the growing population of patients who are immunocompromised due to primary infections such as HW or due to therapies for chronic diseases. Furthermore, recent discoveries have demonstrated that some diseases e.g. ulcers and coronary heart disease previously believed to be caused by a genetic predisposition or environmental conditions are actually caused by or are strongly associated with microbes. Finally, humans have facilitated the development of microbial pathogens as agents of bioterrorism.
- Medicine and Medical Research