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This is the story about finding and preventing a new disease. Almost all diseases of man have been found, this was a new disease that potentially had serious consequences, but its cause was found, and a major catastrophe was averted.
I read about toxic oil syndrome about 10 years. It was first described by a pediatrician in the 1980. It was a brand new, and scary entity as it affected thousands of people. Brilliant epidemiologic work tied together with basic immunologic and toxicologic research lead to the identification of its cause, which lead to its prevention.This, however, is not the complete story as even more interesting findings have come forth. The late consequences of the disease appear to be an autoimmune rheumatologic condition. The story is coming forth that we have identified a toxic agent which interacts with host susceptibility (Human Leukocyte Antigens: HLA Markers) to produce disease.
Thus from basic shoe leather epidemiologic studies, a new disease was identified. Linking the basic epidemiology with host susceptibility produces a fascinating picture into the etiology of this condition, and in fact many other HLA associated autoimmune diseases.
PowerPoint file of this lecture - http://www.pitt.edu/~super7/0011-1001/0062.ppt
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