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Chapter 21 : Polymicrobial Diseases: Current and Future Research
According to the developing concept of polymicrobial diseases, some diseases in both animals and humans result from infections by multiple pathogens. In some areas, current research focuses on identifying the spectrum of etiologic agents involved. In animals, new polymicrobial diseases are likely to include poult enteritis mortality syndrome (PEMS) in turkeys, papillomatous digital dermatitis in dairy cattle, postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome in pigs, and acute interstitial pneumonia in cattle. In humans, new polymicrobial diseases may include multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, atherosclerosis, and other chronic diseases. Identification of new etiologic agents involved in polymicrobial diseases will require improved analytic tools. Rapid technological advancements will help us to define more clearly the etiology of currently described polymicrobial diseases and assist us in identifying additional polymicrobial diseases. The authors say that the field of polymicrobial diseases will continue to grow, and significant advances will be made in the future.