Cover of The Infectious Etiology of Chronic Diseases

The Infectious Etiology of Chronic Diseases

Defining the Relationship, Enhancing the Research, and Mitigating the Effects

Workshop Summary

; Editors: Stacey L Knobler, Siobhán O'Connor, Stanley M Lemon, and Marjan Najafi.

Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); .
ISBN-10: 0-309-08994-8ISBN-10: 0-309-52673-6
Copyright © 2004, National Academy of Sciences.


In an effort to identify cross-disciplinary aspects of the challenge of infectious etiologies of chronic diseases, including inflammatory syndromes and cancer, the Institute of Medicine's Forum on Microbial Threats hosted a two-day workshop on October 21–22, 2002. The workshop, Linking Infectious Agents and Chronic Diseases, explored the factors that drive infectious etiologies of chronic diseases to prominence, and sought to identify more broad-based strategies and research programs that need to be developed. The goals of the workshop were to:

  1. Review the range of pathogenic mechanisms and diversity of etiologic microbes and chronic diseases, including inflammatory syndromes and cancer;
  2. Explore trends, advances, and gaps in collaborative research on diagnostic technologies, and their integration into epidemiologic studies and surveillance;
  3. Identify chronic diseases and syndromes that warrant further investigation;
  4. Identify research needed to clarify the etiologic agents and pathogenic mechanisms involved in chronic diseases, screening for multiple potential agents of the same outcome, and considering that one microbe might induce multiple syndromes;
  5. Identify the principal bottlenecks and opportunities to detect, prevent, and mitigate the impact of chronic diseases on human health against the overall backdrop of emerging infections;
  6. Consider the benefits and risks of early detection and prevention of chronic diseases caused by infectious agents.

The issues pertaining to these goals were addressed through invited presentations and subsequent discussions, which highlighted ongoing programs and actions taken, and also identified the most vital needs in this important area.