Tropical and Emerging Infectious Diseases

9788130803890: Tropical and Emerging Infectious Diseases

At the beginning of the 21st century the spectrum of tropical and emerging infectious diseases continues to expand with a substantial impact on human health globally. Most of these diseases are zoonotic and associated with considerable morbidity and mortality, and mainly concern countries with poor health systems, surveillance and response capacities, factors that further compromise their control. Brucellosis is re-emerging in several countries which were brucellosis-free until recently. An increasing number of reports support the worldwide distribution of murine or endemic typhus, a relatively mild ailment, which seems to re-emerge in many geographical locations. During the last decade, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever endemic foci have expanded or emerged in southeastern Europe and neighboring areas as a result of climate changes and anthropogenic factors. In 2008 two new arenaviruses causing a fatal hemorrhagic syndrome were identified in South America and Africa. Starting in 2005, a huge epidemic of Chikungunya fever occurred by a new virus strain in the Indian Ocean islands and India with more than two million cases, several hundreds imported cases in developed countries, and a locally sustained outbreak in North Italy during summer 2007, reminding us that there are no barriers to vector-borne diseases when competent vectors and suitable environmental and climate conditions are present. The avian H5N1 influenza strain which causes a decade-long panzootic, represents a public health challenge, since it constituted, until the recent emergence of A H1N1 pandemic strain, the most likely candidate for triggering an influenza pandemic. Malaria and leishmaniasis continue to threaten millions of people annually with profound social and economic consequences, whereas drug and insecticide resistance and the unavailability of a vaccine, a reality for almost all diseases presented in this book, constitute major obstacles for their control. Bartonellosis and fungal tropical diseases also appear to emerge in various locations worldwide and are presented in this book. Although substantial progress in the field of immunology, pathogenesis, and rapid diagnosis of tropical and emerging infectious diseases has been made in the recent past, at the same time the unavailability of vaccines in clinical use, the urgent need for specific treatment for most of them, and the emergence of drug resistance remind us that there are a lot to be done at the patient and public health level. Political commitment and multisectoral collaboration at the national and international level are required to achieve this goal. The aim of the book Tropical and Emerging Diseases was to present on a pathogen-based approach the current status of several relevant hot topics, with emphasis on the innovations of the last five years. Efforts were made to select topics representative of the current dynamics of tropical and emerging diseases globally and within the scope of public health. Authorities on their topics from several countries and various scientific backgrounds were invited. We are in depth to them. We also acknowledge the Hellenic Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Athens, Greece) for supporting and sponsoring the edition of this book.

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