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The Federation of Infectious Diseases Societies of Southern Africa (FIDSSA) is an amalgamation of the Infectious Diseases Society of Southern Africa (IDSSA), Sexually Transmitted Diseases Society of Southern Africa (STDSSA), Infection Control Society of South Africa (ICSSA), the South African Society of Clinical Microbiology (SASCM), the South African Society of Travel Medicine (SASTM) and the Southern African Society of Paediatric Infectious Diseases (SASPID).

The Federation publishes a quarterly journal and organises joint conferences to facilitate scientific and professional interaction on the topic of infectious diseases. The Federation also guides appropriate treatment of infectious diseases by publishing guidelines.

This issue of the FIDDSSA Quarterly talks about the Human Microbiome at the European Congress for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) 2015, among other highly interesting topics. The human microbiome is the collection of micro-organisms living in association with the human body. The human microbiome accounts for about 1-3% of our body mass. Microbial genes outnumber human genes by a ratio of 100:1. Referred to as “The Other Genome” -these organisms have tremendous potential to affect our physiology. They are involved in our metabolic and immune function, and play an important role in protection against pathogens. While the human genome is static and cannot be easily manipulated in disease settings, the microbiome could possibly be. The Human Microbiome Project, started in 2008, is dedicated to the comprehensive characterization of the human microbiome and analysis of its role in human health and disease.

Another interesting and extremely important article featured in this FIDDSSA Quarterly talks about the recent Diphtheria, a vaccine-preventable disease, outbreak in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.

Additionally, this FIDSSA Quarterly issue also brings our attention to the upcoming FIDSSA conference in South Africa later this year, “Emerging Threats”.

You can download the full pdf version of the FIDSSA Quarterly by clicking in the link on the top right corner of the page.