Artificial intelligence is intensifying the fight against infectious diseases

Artificial intelligence is intensifying the fight against infectious diseases
Artificial intelligence is intensifying the fight against infectious diseases

The advancement, constraints, and potential of research in artificial intelligence and infectious diseases are evaluated by Presidential Assistant Professor Cesar de la Fuente and co-authors in a recent review.

The toolkit of researchers studying infectious diseases now includes artificial intelligence. But in just five years, AI has sped up research on some of the most pressing problems in medicine and public health.

In order to treat these illnesses and prevent their spread, researchers in this field combine their expertise in the living sciences with their expertise in computation, chemistry, and design. This subject has long called for interdisciplinary approaches.

When parasites, viruses, bacteria, fungus, and other creatures are to blame for a disease, it is said that the organisms are “infectious“. From their surroundings, their diet, or via interactions with one another, people and animals can get infectious diseases. Some diseases are contagious, but not all.

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A persistent global problem, infectious diseases pose issues that only get worse despite science’s steady pace of finding remedies. Drug resistance has made previously manageable diseases untreatable, and the expense of developing new medications has increased significantly.

Due to unequal resource allocation, some regions of the world are a recurrent epicenter for illnesses that other regions never have to worry about.

In a review written with co-authors Felix Wong and James J. Collins from MIT and published in Science, Cesar de la Fuente gives a knowledgeable perspective to how AI has changed the way we study infectious diseases.

De la Fuente holds primary appointments in psychiatry and microbiology at the Perelman School of Medicine in addition to being a Presidential Assistant Professor in the departments of bioengineering and chemical and biomolecular engineering at the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

In three key areas of research—anti-infective drug discovery, infection biology, and diagnostics for infectious diseases—De la Fuente and co-authors evaluate the development, constraints, and potential of work in AI and infectious diseases.

The reviewers explore methods for identifying, managing, and comprehending infectious diseases while highlighting the advancements provided by AI in each situation. The authors state that they “suggest future applications of AI and how it might be used to control infectious disease outbreaks and pandemics.”

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