Evolution of Infectious Disease

Evolution of Infectious Disease

by Paul W. Ewald
     
 

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ISBN-10: 019506058X

ISBN-13: 9780195060584

Pub. Date: 01/28/1994

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

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

Overview

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195060584
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
01/28/1994
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.38(w) x 9.56(h) x 1.20(d)

Table of Contents

1. Why This Book?
2. Symptomatic Treatment (Or How to Bind The Origin of Species to The Physician's Desk Reference)
3. Vectors, Vertical Transmission, and the Evolution of Virulence
4. How to be Severe without Vectors
5. When Water Moves like a Mosquito
6. Attendant-Borne Transmission (Or How are Doctors and Nurses like Mosquitoes, Machetes, and Moving Water?)
7. War and Disease
8. AIDS: Where Did it Come From and Where is it Going?
9. The Fight Against AIDS: Biomedical Strategies and HIV's Evolutionary Responses
10. A Look Backward...
11. ...And a Glimpse Forward (Or WHO Needs Darwin)

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