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Preface

      The 49th Montagna Annual Symposium on the Biology of Skin was held in Snowmass Colorado on August 12–16, 2000 to review the topic ‘‘Emerging Infections and the Skin’'. The purpose of this symposium each year is to bring together basic scientists from disparate fields with cutaneous biologists to consider a topic of great relevance to the biology of the skin in health and disease. The meeting format combines formal presentations, poster presentations, and discussions and informal discussions during 4 days of meeting and leisure activities. Twenty-six speakers and eight poster presenters discussed multiple facets of cutaneous infections and those emerging infections that present important clinical problems.
      The meeting began with a detailed consideration of the ecology of cutaneous microorganisms and their taxonomy, and then a review of the immune response to infection and its regulation and dysregulation in disease. We then considered a wide variety of infections whose increased incidence and clinical importance make them acceptable as emerging infections. New aspects of common viruses were reviewed. We reviewed how infections trigger certain cutaneous diseases such as psoriasis, and how infections such as chlamydia may be pathogenetic in chronic wounds. We also considered new types of approaches to therapy of common skin infections and virus-induced skin conditions such as papillomas and warts.
      As in previous Montagna Symposia, the flow of the program was designed to lead the participants from fundamental to applied science, considering important aspects of emerging bacterial, viral, and fungal diseases. The scheduling of the meeting allowed extensive and provocative discussions, which always illuminated the issues raised in the formal presentations.
      The success of the Symposium and the published proceedings depends on the efforts of the organizing committee, on the staff assisting the Cutaneous Biology Foundation, and on the editorial staff of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology who review the manuscripts. We greatly appreciate the 34 years of support of this conference by the National Institutes of Health and the current support from the National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. We also value the continued support of biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies and the support of foundations devoted to the study of cutaneous biology and disease.