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April 13, 2011

Progress in Infectious Disease and Immunology

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Dr Zuccotti is Contributing Editor and Dr Fontanarosa (phil.fontanarosa@jama-archives.org) is Executive Editor, JAMA.

JAMA. 2011;305(14):1486-1487. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.452

Infectious diseases are commonly encountered in virtually all areas of health care, can represent potential major threats to communities and public health, and account for substantial morbidity and mortality. On a global level, infectious diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis remain leading causes of death.1 Among hospitalized patients, infectious complications such as central line–associated bloodstream infections, ventilator-associated pneumonia, and surgical site infections continue to be important causes of morbidity and increased length of stay. Illness related to infectious diseases also accounts for significant numbers of office and emergency department visits as well as substantial heath care costs and leads to losses in productivity among workers. In addition, the management of infectious diseases continues to be challenging, with major concerns about the emergence of multidrug-resistant pathogens and a significant decline in the production of new antimicrobial agents from both research and industry sources.2