Among the numerous consequences of globalization, the dissemination of scientific research allows real-time comparisons of clinical and basic experimental data between different geographical areas. As a result, the field of geoepidemiology is now vigorously supported by multiple lines of evidence. This special issue of Autoimmunity Reviews is dedicated to the 2010 International Congress on Autoimmunity and aims to provide a state-of-the-art representation of what is currently known in the field of geoepidemiology for autoimmune diseases. The obvious implications of these observations is a role for environmental factors. We will herein review selected publications from prominent scientific journals to provide the bases to understand some of the lines of evidence proposed in the subsequent papers of this comprehensive volume. The ultimate goal is thus to define whether geoepidemiology should be considered a new challenge for autoimmunologists.
2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.