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Evolution of Infectious Disease - Paul W. Ewald

Evolution of Infectious Disease

Hardcover

Published: 6th January 1994
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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.

". . .Ewald's enthusiasm for his topic reaches out to the reader from every page. . . . Ewald's book will arouse considerable interest. The topic is important and is presented in a palatable form that will appeal to a wide readership."--Politics and the Life Sciences "Paul Ewald, an evolutionary biologist at Amherst College, argues that HIV may have infected people benignly for decades, even centuries, before it started causing AIDS....The idea may sound radical, but it's not just flashy speculation. It reflects a growing awareness that parasites, like everything else in nature, evolve by natural selection."--Newsweek "[Ewald] infects both students and colleagues with his enthusiasm."--U.S. News and World Report "Of interest to professionals in health science, epidemiology, and evolutionary biology, but also accessible to general readers."--SciTech Book News "Important...The arguments in this book are well supported by data. The references are germane, including classical articles and current literature. The book is well written and deserves the attention of biologists, health scientists, and enlightened planners."--The Quarterly Review of Biology ". . .Ewald's enthusiasm for his topic reaches out to the reader from every page. . . . Ewald's book will arouse considerable interest. The topic is important and is presented in a palatable form that will appeal to a wide readership."--Politics and the Life Sciences "Paul Ewald, an evolutionary biologist at Amherst College, argues that HIV may have infected people benignly for decades, even centuries, before it started causing AIDS....The idea may sound radical, but it's not just flashy speculation. It reflects a growing awareness that parasites, like everything else in nature, evolve by natural selection."--Newsweek "[Ewald] infects both students and colleagues with his enthusiasm."--U.S. News and World Report "Of interest to professionals in health science, epidemiology, and evolutionary biology, but also accessible to general readers."--SciTech Book News "Important...The arguments in this book are well supported by data. The references are germane, including classical articles and current literature. The book is well written and deserves the attention of biologists, health scientists, and enlightened planners."--The Quarterly Review of Biology "Ewald's use and command of the historical literature on infectious diseases is without parallel among evolutionary biologists...The text is...very readable and the treatment not at all technical....These attributes are a considerable virtue. The book should draw the large audience the subject deserves....The questions raised by Ewald and his premise about the potential utility of evolutionary biology are, we believe, right on. We hope his lead will be followed by others."--Science "Very interesting....A well written book that should be of interest to the educated layperson as well as the evolutionary researcher and the medical profession. Ewald presents a great deal of grist to chew on providing a lot of documented research on some of his theories and observations. There is a 70-page list of references that would keep any skeptic busy in looking up historical information. For the AIDS researcher, looking into the evolutionary route of the disease should not be overlooked...Recommended for public, academic, and medical libraries."--AIDS Book Review Journal "This book has much to offer in the way of biological information....Ewald places major emphasis on the evolution of drug-resistant strains of the disease....especially useful to students of medical geography."--Professional Geographer "Many ideas in the book broaden the application of evolution to health care and the manifestation of disease. This milestone approach to disease may provide a new dimension in controlling virtually all diseases. High readability, up-to-date references, and a thorough discussion of infectious diseases make this an important work for health-care professionals interested in evolutionary biology."--Choice "Dr. Ewald introduces an evolutionary approach to viewing pathogens in the book.... This analysis provides a synthesis of principles from health science, epidemiology and evolutionary biology, yet the text is still comprehensible to a general audience."--Yale Scientific "Evolution of Infectious Disease is well-written, well-referenced, well-indexed and certainly deserves the attention of all health-related scientists."--SIM News

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)

ISBN: 9780195060584
ISBN-10: 019506058X
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 308
Published: 6th January 1994
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.13 x 16.51  x 3.18
Weight (kg): 0.62