Viruses vs. Superbugs: A Solution to the Antibiotics Crisis? / Edition 2

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 88%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (22) from $1.99   
  • New (7) from $7.26   
  • Used (15) from $1.99   


In the US alone some 90,000 people die from superbugs--bacteria that have grown immune to antibiotics. Officials agree that this problem will only get worse with time and new alternatives must be found. One alternative that is being considered by scientists is a kind of virus called a bacteriophage. "Phages"--viruses that kill bacteria but not humans--were discovered in 1915. Phage therapy was successfully used for twenty years before the invention of penicillin made them obsolete everywhere but Eastern Europe, where they are still in use today. In its first English translation, this book tells the fascinating story behind the history of the phage, its discovery and development, as well as the strides that are being made to bring the therapy back to the West today.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"An exceptionally thorough book, extraordinarily well written and scientifically authoritative...a book about an explosive subject, that could not have been done better"--Spektrum der Wissenschaften, the German Scientific American

"Thomas Häusler tells a forgotten chapter of the history of medicine that ends in the present with a surprising comeback. His book is riveting and written in an exemplary style."--Schweizerische Ärztezeitung

"Thomas Häusler traces in his gripping book the story of the rise, the fall and the possible renaissance of bacteriophages as drugs."--Basler Zeitung

"The Swiss science journalist Thomas Häusler has written an extremely compelling popular science book."--Laborjournal

"Häusler's book tells the gripping tale of the once hyped now forgotten phage therapy."--Tages-Anzeiger

"Thomas Häusler paints a vivid and engaging picture of the larger-than-life characters who committed themselves to the development of phage therapy. The science is there - in easily understandable language - but so are Stalin's purges and the Second World War. Bacteriophage therapy has not yet taken off - but promise is there. This authoritative book explains why."--T. Hugh Pennington, president of the British Society for General Microbiology

"This book, documented with rare photographs and abundant references, is scientific journalism at its best and a fascinating contribution to the history of medicine."--Professor Hans-Wolfgang Ackermann, Laval University

"Häusler shares with us the fascinating fruits of a remarkable year-long odyssey in time and space, during which he explored the depths of archives old and new, from the Pasteur Institute to NIH, Los Angeles hospitals, Tbilisi clinics and German companies. His thoughtful interviews and strong, ongoing scholarship bring to life the work of Felix d'Herelle and his scientific descendents in tantalizing and accessible fashion." --Elizabeth Kutter, Evergreen State College

"The reader will put down this page-turner inspired, hopeful, and utterly convinced of phage therapy's imminence and inevitability. An indispensable primer for everyone concerned with the onset of the post-antibiotic age."--Asher Wilf, CEO, Phage-Biotech

"FOUR STARS: A good book--excellent use of the stories of real people involved in the fight against bacteria."

"Unusually well-researched, outstandingly well-written. This book deserves to be on the shelf of every private and public library." --Epoch Times

"A salient and thought provoking take on society's attitudes toward disease and medicine."

"All the ingredients of a John Le Carré spy novel: fascinating." --EMBO Reports

“A thoroughly scholarly account, in a highly entertaining narrative form. A compelling read, populated with fascinating characters.” --Micro Today

"Valuable reading, both for specialists and for interested general readers." --Journal of the American Medical Association

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230551930
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 12/26/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.53 (w) x 7.33 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas Häusler is chief science editor of the Swiss news magazine Facts and has won several awards for his journalistic work. He lives in Switzerland.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

List of figures vi

Foreword viii

Preface xi

Chapter 1 At the limits of medicine 1

Chapter 2 Invincible microbes 15

Chapter 3 The wild pioneer era 48

Chapter 4 The renaissance of phages during the war 105

Chapter 5 A parallel universe 126

Chapter 6 Keepers of the grail in peril 175

Chapter 7 Resurrection 203

Chapter 8 What's the future of phage therapy? 248

Appendix 1 A short list of bacteria 252

Appendix 2 The advantages and disadvantages of phage therapy 257

Notes 261

Figure sources 283

Index 284

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)