Evolution of Infectious Disease

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Oxford University Press, USA, Dec 1, 1993 - 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.

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I have found more about interesting diseases. Someone would like to share with me experiences ?

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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.


Why This Book?
Symptomatic Treatment Or How to Bind The Origin of Species to The Physicians Desk Reference
Vectors Vertical Transmission and the Evolution of Virulence
How to Be Severe Without Vectors
When Water Moves like a Mosquito
AttendantBorne Transmission Or How Are Doctors and Nurses like Mosquitoes Machetes and Moving Water?
War and Virulence
Where Did It Come from and Where Is It Going?
Biomedical Strategies and HIVs Evolutionary Responses
A Look Backward
and A Glimpse Forward Or WHO needs Darwin

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Page 274 - Y. (1993). Emergence of novel strain of Vibrio cholerae with epidemic potential in southern and eastern India.
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.

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Michael Crichton
Limited preview - 2002
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