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The ASID test

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The Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases view on infectious diseases challenges in 2016 and beyond

This year, 2016, is a historic year for the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases (ASID), being the 40th anniversary of the formation of the society. It is an opportunity not only to celebrate our achievements in infectious diseases and microbiology over the past 4 decades but also to anticipate future challenges. Principal among these are antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and the emergence or re-emergence of previously controlled or unrecognised diseases.

Although infectious diseases were thought to have been conquered as public health problems 40 years ago, our complacency has been repeatedly challenged by new and re-emerging threats. In this issue of the MJA, we read about re-emergence of Ebola virus,1 preparedness for Zika virus2 and local transmission for hepatitis E3 as salient examples. Williams and colleagues also describe the diagnosis of subacute sclerosing panencephalitis in a 23-year-old man,4 a timely reminder that high levels of herd immunity are required to prevent measles outbreaks, which still occur in parts of Australia with suboptimal immunisation rates.5 But emerging infections are not only viral. In this issue, Mandrawa et al…