August 2001 heralds the arrival of THE LANCET INFECTIOUS DISEASES, a new monthly specialty review journal from The Lancet Publishing Group. THE LANCET INFECTIOUS DISEASES (TLID) will provide researchers and clinicians with high-quality information about the latest developments in infectious disease medicine. Every month TLID will deliver thought-provoking editorial comment, and the latest infectious diseases news from around the world. Peer-reviewed articles will give a detailed analysis of specific topics, and the commissioned 'Reflection and Reaction' feature will debate a topical issue of the month. A lively interview with a prominent figure in infectious disease medicine, reviews of relevant literature and websites, and the light-hearted 'Last Word' column will ensure comprehensive and varied coverage.
TLID Editor John McConnell comments: "After a period of neglect, infectious diseases are back at the forefront of medical research. TLID exists to report on our battles with and, hopefully, victories over infectious diseases."
AUGUST ISSUE HIGHLIGHTS
Leading Edge - A gift to be used sparingly
The inaugural editorial discusses the growing problem of inappropriate antibiotic use, a major contributory factor to the emergence of antibiotic-resistant pathogens. It comments how, three years after a meeting of a European Union consortium to tackle the problem, research indicates that antibiotic use is increasing (by over 11% from 1997-99 according to one Swedish estimate). Lack of awareness at a grass-roots level - a recent report revealed how the issue is sparingly discussed in the training of medical students - is highlighted as a major stumbling block. For many general practitioners, uncertainty about diagnosis often leads to the (inappropriate) prescription of broad-spectrum antibiotics. The editorial also challenges the medical community to prioritise the prevention of infectious diseases through control measures such as improved hospital-based hygiene and (where appropriate) effective implementation of vaccination programmes.
Reflection and Reaction - Can we beat MRSA now we know its genome sequence?
Neil Woodford and David Livermore from the UK's Central Public Health Laboratory discuss the implications that the recent sequencing of the meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) genome will have on future infectious disease medicine. They comment that knowing the sequence doesn't mean the MRSA threat is over, but will enable researchers and clinicians to map out a more detailed strategy for tackling MRSA-related disease.
Prospects for better tuberculosis vaccines
An update on the progress to identify a new tuberculosis vaccine; the current BCG vaccine is not effective in some parts of the world, resulting in tuberculosis being one of the top three infectious causes of death worldwide.
Yellow fever: an update
A review of the clinical features of yellow fever, the original viral haemorrhagic fever. Still an untreatable and potentially lethal disease in the absence of protection by vaccination, yellow fever affects as many as 200000 people annually - 1000-fold more people than the deadly Ebola virus.
Can antibiotic-resistant nosocomial infections be controlled?
A review of research into possible solutions to the growing problem of nosocomial (hospital-based) infections, notably meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and vancomycin-resistant enterococci.
Borna disease virus infection in psychiatric patients: are we on the right track? Infectious origins of, and molecular mimicry in, Guillain-Barré and Fisher syndromes Personal VIEW - Planned interruptions of anti-HIV treatment
Interview - S Ragnar Norrby-Director General of the Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control