• It is with great pleasure that we introduce the first volume of Birkhäuser Advances in Infectious Diseases.This book series will focus on relevant t- ics of microbiology and infectious diseases with emphasis (as much as p- sible) on emerging pathogens and related diseases.The series will also stress the inter-disciplinarity of the field and include "modern" aspects such as progress and new approaches in molecular biology, clinical aspects and modern insights relevant to human and veterinary medicine. In addition, questions of epidemiology,disease management,hygiene and prevention of infectious diseases will be discussed. Emerging or recently classified pathogens are a great challenge in m- icine.Therefore we focused the first volume of this series on the outbreak of SARS.The advent of SARS is a threat for people around the globe.Our modern technologies have figuratively transformed the world into a village. It is not a problem anymore for someone or something to travel to or trade with remote parts of the world.This traffic, however, reprensents a new opportunity to spread diseases, particularly such of infectious nature from tiny villages throughout the entire world.