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January 1996

Group A Streptococcal Infections: An Old Adversary Reemerging With New Tricks?

Author Affiliations

Department of Dermatology New England Medical Center 750 Washington St Boston, MA 02111; Cambridge, Mass

Arch Dermatol. 1996;132(1):67-70. doi:10.1001/archderm.1996.03890250077013

THE WORLD of pathogenic microorganisms and infectious diseases has been enlarged during the past several decades by the emergence and discovery of newly recognized human pathogens,1-3 by the reemergence of older diseases and new syndromes caused by historically familiar bacteria and viruses,3,4 and by major changes in antimicrobial susceptibility requiring new therapeutic strategies.5-8 That these observations are of great concern is evidenced by the number of recent publications. Examples include multiple communications in the weekly publication of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention9,10; increasing scrutiny by the Institute of Medicine2; the 1995 initiation of a new journal, Emerging Infectious Diseases11; and countless other communications, articles, and conferences on the subject.12,13

These revelations give eloquent testimony to the resourcefulness and adaptability of microbes. Many other factors may also be responsible for the new emerging infections. Host factors, including immune status, nutrition, and stress,

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