Infectious diseases remain one of the leading causes of death worldwide. According to the latest World Health Organization estimates deaths attributable to infectious diseases, including respiratory illnesses, is the 2nd leading cause of death, responsible for an estimated 12.2M (21.5% of a total of 55.9M) deaths annually with cardiovascular diseases estimated as responsible for 30.5% of total deaths and neoplasms responsible for 13.6% of all deaths. The infectious disease burden is especially acute in developing countries. While infectious disease deaths account for less than 7% of the total in the “developed” countries it is the leading cause of death in less-developed areas. Since infectious diseases afflict all sectors of the population, with many infections being particularly serious for neonates and children, whereas most cardiovascular diseases and neoplasms afflict the more elderly, the cumulative life-adjusted burden of infectious diseases is significantly higher, and thus infectious diseases may be argued to be the most serious health concern.
Citation: Coombs KM (2012) Medical Microbiology and Diagnosis in the Omics Era. J Med Microb Diagn 2:e112.