Evolution of Infectious Disease

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, Jan 6, 1994 - Science - 320 pages
2 Reviews
Findings from the field of evolutionary biology are yielding dramatic insights for health scientists, especially those involved in the fight against infectious diseases. This book is the first in-depth presentation of these insights. In detailing why the pathogens that cause malaria, smallpox, tuberculosis, and AIDS have their special kinds of deadliness, the book shows how efforts to control virtually all diseases would benefit from a more thorough application of evolutionary principles. When viewed from a Darwinian perspective, a pathogen is not simply a disease-causing agent, it is a self-replicating organism driven by evolutionary pressures to pass on as many copies of itself as possible. In this context, so-called "cultural vectors"--those aspects of human behavior and the human environment that allow spread of disease from immobilized people--become more important than ever. Interventions to control diseases don't simply hinder their spread but can cause pathogens and the diseases they engender to evolve into more benign forms. In fact, the union of health science with evolutionary biology offers an entirely new dimension to policy making, as the possibility of determining the future course of many diseases becomes a reality. By presenting the first detailed explanation of an evolutionary perspective on infectious disease, the author has achieved a genuine milestone in the synthesis of health science, epidemiology, and evolutionary biology. Written in a clear, accessible style, it is intended for a wide readership among professionals in these fields and general readers interested in science and health.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

I have found more about interesting diseases. Someone would like to share with me experiences ?
http://interestingdiseases.com

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

This is an excellent book that will give the reader thought tools to think about how diseases emerge, evolve and interact with animal and human populations. I highly recommend this book to physicians and anyone working with infectious disease.

Contents

1 Why This Book?
3
2 Symptomatic Treatment Or How to Bind The Origin of Species to The Physicians Desk Reference
15
3 Vectors Vertical Transmission and the Evolution of Virulence
35
4 How to Be Severe Without Vectors
57
5 When Water Moves like a Mosquito
67
6 AttendantBorne Transmission Or How Are Doctors and Nurses like Mosquitoes Machetes and Moving Water?
87
7 War and Virulence
109
Where Did It Come from and Where Is It Going?
119
Biomedical Strategies and HIVs Evolutionary Responses
159
10 A Look Backward
181
11 and A Glimpse Forward Or WHO needs Darwin
191
Glossary
217
References
223
Index
293
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 274 - Y. (1993). Emergence of novel strain of Vibrio cholerae with epidemic potential in southern and eastern India.
Page 272 - RC, 1980, Detection and isolation of type C retrovirus particles from fresh and cultured lymphocytes of a patient with cutaneous T cell lymphoma, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 77:7415.
Page 246 - Goedert JJ, Kessler CM, Aledort LM, et al. A prospective study of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection and the development of AIDS in subjects with hemophilia.

References to this book

Prey
Michael Crichton
Limited preview - 2002
All Book Search results »

About the author (1994)

Paul W. Ewald is a professor and Chair of the Biology Department at Amherst College, and holds an adjunct faculty appointment at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He has been named the first George E. Burch Fellow of Theoretic Medicine and Affiliated Sciences, a position awarded by the Smithsonian Institution and hosted by the Smithsonian Tropical Institute.

Bibliographic information