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Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 1993 Dec;87 Suppl 3:7-11.

Diarrhoeal disease: current concepts and future challenges. Epidemiology of diarrhoeal diseases in developed countries.

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  • 1Enteric Diseases Program, Naval Medical Research Institute, Bethesda, MD 20889.


Diarrhoeal diseases are a common problem in industrialized countries, resulting in appreciable morbidity and mortality. While the total burden of these illnesses is much less than that in developing countries, the same basic disease risk factors influence transmission. This article reviews selected environmental, host and pathogen-specific factors which shape the epidemiology of infectious diarrhoea in developed countries. The effective adaptation of techniques from molecular biology, such as plasmid analysis, deoxyribonucleic acid hybridization, and the polymerase chain reaction, to studies of diarrhoeal disease epidemiology is also discussed.

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