Preface Respiratory Infections

Michael Loeffelholz, PhD Editor

Infections of the respiratory tract include both acute and chronic processes, ranging from the common cold to tuberculosis. Acute respiratory infections are responsible for an estimated 4 million deaths annually worldwide and are the leading cause of death in children younger than 5 years. Over 1 million people in the United States are hospitalized each year with pneumonia. Mycobacterium tuberculosis infects onethird of the world’s population. There are more than 1 million tuberculosis-related deaths worldwide each year. Emerging resistance to multiple available antimicrobial agents has hampered the ability to treat tuberculosis and hospital-acquired respiratory infections. Laboratory diagnosis is an important part of the management and treatment of patients with respiratory infections. In addition to appraising current microbiology and epidemiology, this issue provides a comprehensive review of the most current and relevant issues in the laboratory diagnosis of respiratory infections, including pertussis, tuberculosis, and influenza, as well as the detection of nontuberculous mycobacteria, fungi, emerging respiratory viruses, and agents affecting cystic fibrosis patients. Antigen tests, interferon gamma release assays, and molecular methods used to diagnose various respiratory infections are reviewed. Finally, the challenge of emerging resistance to antimicrobial and antiviral agents and its detection in the laboratory is reviewed. I’d like to thank Alexander McAdam, MD, PhD for enlightening discussion and his contributions to the development of the article content. I’d also like to thank the Elsevier staff, particularly, Yonah Korngold and Joanne Husovski. Michael Loeffelholz, PhD Professor Department of Pathology University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston, Texas 77555-0740, USA E-mail address: [email protected] Clin Lab Med - (2014) -–http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cll.2014.03.002 labmed.theclinics.com 0272-2712/14/$ – see front matter Ó 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Respiratory infections.

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