Hot Topics in Pediatric Infectious Disease, Part 1
It is a privilege and a pleasure again to be invited as guest editor for Pediatric Annals. Throughout the next two issues, we have assembled a series of articles on Hot Topics in Pediatric Infectious Disease. As Dr. Shulman uses stamps from his collection to illustrate relevant aspects of the topics in the issues, I have drawn upon my long-standing interest in baseball and my baseball card collection to introduce these issues. After all, baseball has been characterized as a "kids' game." In medicine as in baseball, and as Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Lemon said, "I don't care how long you've been around, you'll never see it all."
In baseball parlance, I believe we have put together a great line-up of nine articles for you these two issues that rival the greatest of baseball dynasties (see New York Yankees card, page 301). We've just witnessed an exciting era in baseball with the recent resurgence of Dr. Shulman's beloved Detroit ?gers (see Detroit Tigers card). Similarly, exciting developments in medicine continue to occur every year at a record pace. We lead off with this issue, Part 1, with a series of exciting articles on advances in the prevention, treatment, and understanding of the epidemiology of infectious disease. In Part 2, in the July issue, we will present updates on select infections in children.
Leading off in this issue, Drs. Dennehy, Bennett, and Domachowske provide elegant updates on advances in immunizations, which can be compared favorably to the greatest records in baseball (see Babe RuOi card). Dr. Dennehy addresses the latest in pediatric immunizations with a detailed review of the safety and efficacy data about the newly licensed pentavalent rhesus rotavirus vaccine, an update on the expanded indications for influenza immunization in children, and the indication for a second dose of varicella vaccine.
Drs. Bennett and Domachowske are next in the line up with a discussion of the latest developments in immunizations for adolescents. These include conjugate meningococcal vaccine, booster dose of acellular pertussis, and human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine for adolescent girls. These new vaccines are truly a home run in the prevention of serious illnesses in children and adolescents.
Batting third, Drs. Murray and Baltimore provide a discussion of potential pediatric uses of fluoroquinolone antibiotics. Although initially restricted in children because of concerns about toxicity to growing cartilage, greater trepidation about the likelihood of widespread use of these agents leading to development of bacterial resistance is currently the primary reason to limit use of this antibiotic class to situations in which there are few other options, as the authors describe.
The last two articles in this volume provide a change up from prevention and treatment to a look at new understandings of the epidemiology of infections in our modem world. In both of these reports, old diseases have re-emerged, or as baseball legend Yogi Berra said, "It's like déjà vu, all over again." Dr. Lee and I describe how increasing international travel requires the pediatrician to be aware of illnesses not routinely seen in their practices and provide an update on prevention strategies and immunizations for the pediatric international traveler.
Finally, Dr Leggiadro demonstrates that for all the great advances in preventing and managing infectious diseases, there is the potential for infections to be agents of bioterrorism. As Dr. Leggiadro shows in reviewing the recent anthrax outbreaks, for example, it is important to examine infectious agents with potential for use in bioterrorism in order to develop strategies, should such an event occur.
This segues into next month's issue of our Hot Topics in Pediatric Infectious Disease in which our AilStar line-up takes the field in July to discuss exciting new aspects of specific infectious diseases. I hope you enjoy this issue and look forward to joining you again next month.
As a native New Yorker and lifelong baseball fan, I can strongly relate to the words of Sen. Joseph Lieberman, ID-Conn., when he said, '"This is America,' my father used to say to me, 'and in this country, a smart young fellow like you can grow up and do just about anything.' My dad, no doubt, was thinking doctor, lawyer, teacher, scientist or businessman. I was thinking second baseman, New York Yankees." Or, as my own father used to admonish me at times, "If you would learn your school work as well as you know those baseball statistics, you'll be OK." Well, I think it might have worked out OK, Dad, and happy 88th birthday! Now, let's play ball!