Infection systems biology: from reactive to proactive (P4) medicine

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11 Citations (Scopus)


This short review establishes the conceptual bases and discusses the principal aspects of P4-shorthand for predictive, preventive, personalized and participatory medicine-medicine, in the framework of infectious diseases. P4 medicine is a new way to approach medical care; instead of acting when the patient is sick, physicians will be able to detect early warnings of disease to take early action. Furthermore, people might even be able to adjust their lifestyles to prevent disease. P4 medicine is fuelled by systems approaches to disease, including methods for personalized genome sequencing and new computational techniques for building dynamic disease predictive networks from massive amounts of data from a variety of OMICs. An excellent example of the effectiveness of the P4 medicine approach is the change in cancer treatments. Emphasis is placed on early detection, followed by genotyping of the patient to use the most adequate treatment according to the genetic background. Cardiovascular diseases and perhaps even neurodegenerative disorders will be the next targets for P4 medicine. The application of P4 medicine to infectious diseases is still in its infancy, but is a promising field that will provide much benefit to both the patients and the health-care system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-60
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Microbiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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