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Trace Metals and Infectious Diseases$
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Jerome O. Nriagu and Eric P. Skaar

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780262029193

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262029193.001.0001

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(p.1) 1 Introduction
Trace Metals and Infectious Diseases

Jerome O. Nriagu

Eric P. Skaar

The MIT Press

Interest in processes at the nexus of host–microbe–metal interactions has risen as a result of advancements in the study of metallomics, proteomics, and genomics. These emerging fields have given rise to new developments in powerful analytical methods and technology for studying the identity, distribution, quantity, trafficking, fate, and effects of trace metals in biological systems. Applications of these advanced techniques to the study of metabolic cycles are yielding results and have placed scientists at the threshold of major paradigm shifts in our understanding of the relationships between homeostatic mechanisms of trace metals and pathogenesis of infectious diseases. Fields present at this Forum included chemistry, biology/biochemistry, toxicology, nutrition, immunology, microbiology, epidemiology, environmental and occupational health, as well as environmental and veterinary medicine. Participants were tasked with using their knowledge to discuss how the metabolic cycles of trace metals relate to the pathogenesis of disease during infection. The stimulating dialog that ensued covered a wide range of views, insights, and perspectives on current knowledge and raised important open questions that should be addressed by future research initiatives.

Keywords:   host–microbe–metal interactions, pathogenesis of infectious disease, metallomics, proteomics, genomics, trace metal exposure

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