In the past 25 years, laboratories have encountered a wide range of diseases and infectious agents. Some have been conquered; others remain formidable challenges. These diseases and progress in the fight against them are highlighted…

A communicable disease caused by the tubercle bacillus and rarely by related mycobacteria, tuberculosis (TB) is marked by toxic and allergic symptoms, usually in the lungs. Roughly 8 million new cases of TB occur each year worldwide. From 1975 to 1985, the incidence of TB in the United States decreased, but the number of cases has increased every year since then. About 10 to 15 million people in the United States are infected with TB. Recent outbreaks of nosocomial multidrug-resistant TB have made the fight against it more difficult.
—by Benjamin Ortiz
Laboratory Medicine [the re-design issue], January 1995
[NOTE: The “Trends in Disease” series comes from my first job out of grad school, when I embarked on an odyssey of research to cover the great maladies and plagues of the day.]

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