Light and Shadow: Perspectives on Host-Microbial Interactions in the Pathogenesis of Intensive Care Unit-Acquired Infection

  • J. C. Marshall
Conference paper


Conventional wisdom holds that the relationship between humans and the microbial world is intrinsically inimical. Microorganisms have been responsible for some of the greatest scourges that have faced humanity — the plague, tuberculosis, smallpox, and the spectrum of diseases that threaten the majority of people in the developing world, including malaria, bacillary dysentery, and parasitic diseases. Modern infectious epidemics, such as the influenza pandemic of 1918 and AIDS, have had a devastating effect on large numbers of people. In the developed world, an increasing number of illnesses are being found to have an infectious origin, notably peptic ulcers [1] and atherosclerosis [2]. From the perspective of the clinician, the need to administer a definitive blow to the microbial world has never seemed greater, at a time when our arsenals have never been more potent.


Critical Illness Nosocomial Infection Intensive Care Unit Patient Cane Toad Microbial World 
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© Springer-Verlag Italia, Milano 2001

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  • J. C. Marshall

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