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Review of "Infectious Disease: a Scientific American reader."

BioMed Central
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1186/1756-3305-1-36
  • Book Review
  • Medicine

Abstract BioMed Central Page 1 of 1 (page number not for citation purposes) Parasites & Vectors Open AccessBook review Review of "Infectious Disease: a Scientific American reader." Chris Arme Address: School of Life Sciences, Keele University, Staffordshire, ST5 5BG, UK Email: Chris Arme - [email protected] Book details Infectious Diseases: A Scientific American Reader The University of Chicago Press; 2008:326. ISBN: 0-226-74264-4 Review This Reader is a collection of some 30 articles on infec- tious disease, published since 1993. After an essay on Evo- lution and the Origins of Disease there are four sections, each with a common theme. The first deals with viruses and considers general ques- tions such as Are viruses alive? and Emerging viruses to more specific topics such as influenza, hepatitis C, HIV and rabies. The second contains something of a mixed bag of Helicobacter, STDs, malaria, anthrax and prion diseases. There are seven chapters in the section on the immune system and the final section comprises six essays on more general themes including pandemics, global climate change and antibiotic resistance. Most of the chapters contain illustrations in black and white and suggestions are offered for further reading, although these might have been more useful if they had been updated to include more recent references. There is no index. Although the oldest article was first published in 1993 and seven others appeared in the late 1990s, the rest are from the past 8 years, with the latest from 2007. It is prob- able that experts in the fields covered by the essays will consider them out-of-date. However, as a general reader, I found them to be fresh and full of ideas that caught my interest. This collection is an enjoyable read and I commend it to colleagues who seek a flavour of topics in infectious dis- ease, about which they may know little and would like to know more. Competing interests The author declares that he has no competing interests. Pu

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