Factors in the Emergence of Infectious Diseases

Most of the emerging infections appear to be caused by pathogens already present in the environment, brought out of obscurity or given a selective advantage by changing conditions and afforded an opportunity to infect new host populations. The process by which infectious agents may transfer from animals to humans or disseminate from isolated groups into new populations can be called microbial traffic . A number of activities increase microbial traffic and as a result promote emergence and epidemics. 

Current techniques for rapid diagnosis of microbial infections by direct detection of the microbial agent include enzyme immunoassay (EIA) tests, immunofluorescence, latex agglutination assays, and nucleic acid hybridization procedures for the near future, the preferred methods for rapid diagnosis will be by (1) EIA tests utilizing monoclonal antibodies and improved enzyme detection systems, and (2) improved latex agglutination procedures for certain antigens.

  • Ecological Changes and Agricultural Development
  • Changes in Human Demographics and Behavior
  • International Travel and Commerce
  • Technology and Industry
  • Microbial Adaptation and Change

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