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New considerations in infectious disease outbreaks: the threat of genetically modified microbes.

Authors
  • Gilsdorf, Janet R
  • Zilinskas, Raymond A
Type
Published Article
Journal
Clinical Infectious Diseases
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Publication Date
Apr 15, 2005
Volume
40
Issue
8
Pages
1160–1165
Identifiers
PMID: 15791517
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Genetically altered microbes are used widely in the conduct of scientific study and have facilitated the development of new medical therapies, preventive strategies, and diagnostic tools. Unfortunately, such organisms may also cause infectious disease outbreaks as a result of accidental or intentional transmission to humans. The unique microbial properties of genetically altered pathogens and the clinical symptoms exhibited by persons infected with them may impede the usual diagnostic and clinical evaluations or preventive strategies. Practicing physicians and clinicians at microbiology laboratories, who would be the first to observe such infections, must consider the broad clinical possibilities of illnesses caused by deliberately altered microorganisms and the potential difficulty in confirming a diagnosis.

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