The Malaria Capers: More Tales of Parasites and People, Research and Reality

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
While biotechnology has taken great strides during the last 25 years, Desowitz, professor of tropical medicine at the University of Hawaii, reports that because of an ``inbalance between research and reality,'' health and health systems--especially in the tropical Third World--have deteriorated. Although this ironically titled book concerns a tragic topic, Desowitz's accounts of unsung heroes in the battle against disease, coupled with his humanity and storyteller's skill, make for engrossing reading--as does, for instance, his speculation that kala-azarper web , like malaria an ancient, insect-borne plague, may have killed the dinosaurs. Malaria, he recalls, was known as Roman fever until Mussolini drained the Pontine marshes. The author asserts that a vaccine against malaria has not been found because of misrepresentation, misuse of funds and outright ineptitude. Soaring costs have further discouraged corporate research, especially for unprofitable drugs that mostly benefit the world's poor. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Desowitz (tropical medicine, Univ. of Hawaii) continues the gripping tales of parasites he began in New Guinea Tapeworms and Jewish Grandmothers ( LJ 10/1/81). Focusing on poor tropical nations ``where health and health systems have deteriorated during the past twenty-five years,'' Desowitz describes how visceral leishmaniasis (kala-azar, the black sickness) has returned to the Indian subcontinent after being almost eradicated. He also discusses how malaria, despite years of research, still wreaks havoc in the tropics. Using these two insect-transmitted infections as examples of the tropical world's state of health, Desowitz engagingly narrates ``the course of their natural history, human history, and the historical events surrounding their elucidation by sometimes great, sometimes petty, and sometimes venal scientists.'' For all medical collections.-- James Swanson, Albert Einstein Coll. of Medicine, New York
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393030136
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/28/1991
  • Pages: 1
  • Product dimensions: 8.55 (w) x 5.87 (h) x 0.99 (d)

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