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The challenge of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases

Nature volume 430, pages 242249 (08 July 2004) | Download Citation

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  • An Erratum to this article was published on 07 January 2010

Abstract

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 a constant background of established infections, epidemics of new and old infectious diseases periodically emerge, greatly magnifying the global burden of infections. Studies of these emerging infections reveal the evolutionary properties of pathogenic microorganisms and the dynamic relationships between microorganisms, their hosts and the environment.

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Acknowledgements

The authors thank R. M. Krause for helpful discussions, and J. Weddle for graphic design.

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Affiliations

  1. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-2520, USA afauci niaid.nih.gov

    • David M. Morens
    • , Gregory K. Folkers
    •  & Anthony S. Fauci

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The authors declare that they have no competing financial interests.

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