Book Cover
Author Ewald, Paul W.

Title Evolution of infectious disease / Paul W. Ewald
Published Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1994
Online access available from:
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Description 1 online resource (vii, 298 pages) : illustrations
Contents Why this book? -- Symptomatic treatment (or how to bind the origin of species to the physician's desk reference) -- Vectors, vertical transmission and the evolution of virulence -- How to be severe without vectors -- When water moves like a mosquito -- Attendant-borne transmission (or how are doctors and nurses like mosquitoes, machetes and moving water?) -- War and virulence -- AIDS: where did it come from and where is it going? -- Fight against AIDS: biomedical strategies and HIV's evolutionary responses -- A look backward -- A glimpse forward (or who needs Darwin)
Summary 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
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 223-292) and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Communicable diseases.
Host-parasite relationships.
Biological Evolution.
Communicable Diseases -- etiology.
Host-Parasite Interactions.
Form Electronic book
LC no. 92048486
ISBN 0195345193 (electronic bk.)
1423734696 (electronic bk.)
9780195345193 (electronic bk.)
9781423734697 (electronic bk.)
(alk. paper)