On perusing these articles for this special issue on infection, one is made aware that (1) serious infections are still a worldwide problem, (2) the understanding and management of these infections depends on the careful consideration of microbiologic, pathophysiologic, and pharmacologic conditions, (3) investigators studying the problems have a somewhat different outlook, depending on whether they are surgeons, clinical microbiologists, or infectious disease specialists, and (4) there are diverse approaches to these problems in different parts of the world.
By blending viewpoints and concepts, it is hoped that physicians will enhance their ability to treat patients with serious infections.
Sydney M. Finegold, MD, from Los Angeles, has carefully considered the pathogenic anaerobes in a scholarly review that emphasizes virulence factors and the ways that they interact with host defenses. He also gives us a clear overview of the approach to the diagnosis and management of anaerobic infections. Donald Kaye, MD,