Microbial pathogens have accompanied humanity for centuries and continue to represent significant causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. In addition to the medical and public health effects of acute infections, several pathogens have been causally linked to malignant tumors, and in 2002 infectious diseases were estimated to be responsible for more than 20% of the global cancer burden.1 Another relatively recent development is the increasing global mobility that established, as Okeke and Edelman so eloquently remark, a shrinking “global village”2 in which pathogen dynamics assumes new dimensions worldwide.
Stein RA. Bacterial Infections of Humans: Epidemiology and Control. JAMA. 2011;305(14):1488-1489. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.439