The epidemiological transition: The current status of infectious diseases in the developed world versus the developing world

John W. Sanders*, Greg S. Fuhrer, Mark D. Johnson, Mark S. Riddle

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations

Abstract

Wealthy, industrialized countries of the developed world successfully underwent the "epidemiologic transition" from infectious diseases to degenerative diseases, but developing countries have not yet achieved that transition. This article reviews the current status of Omran's Theory of Epidemiologic Transition, comparing the burden of infectious diseases in the developed world versus the developing world. The advent of modern sanitation and hygiene practices, effective vaccines, and antibiotics have significantly diminished the burden in the developed world, but infectious diseases remain the most common cause of death worldwide, The persistence of this disease burden has been due to a failure to employee effective strategies and to unforeseen developments, such as the emergence of HIV and the re-emergence of malaria and tuberculosis driven by newly developed drug resistance. The challenge in accurately assessing infectious disease burden and developing effective interventions is reviewed along with the most common diseases and current intervention strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-38
Number of pages38
JournalScience Progress
Volume91
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Developed world
  • Developing world
  • Diarrhea
  • Epidemiologic transition
  • Epidemiology
  • HIV
  • Infectious disease
  • Malaria
  • Tropical disease
  • Tuberculosis

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