The majority of infectious diseases had begun to decline at the turn of the century with the understanding that potentially dangerous microbes could be transmitted by water, food and insects and by the application of sanitation and antisepsis. Since the birth of the modern antibiotic era some 45 years ago the incidence of bacterial disease has declined further and, despite the marvels of R plasmids we heard earlier today, most bacterial infections can be controlled, though usually not prevented, by chemotherapy. Some bacterial infections can be prevented by immunization although except for certain toxins, immunization is generally based on hit or miss whole organism vacccines. The fact is that if we understood more about how particular microorganisms caused infection it might be possible to devise rational means to prevent them.


Bacterial Pathogenicity Bacterial Toxin Epithelial Cell Surface Bordetella Pertussis Shigella Flexneri 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stanley Falkow
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medical MicrobiologyStanford, UniversityStanfordUSA

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