Books  Mammals  Insectivores to Ungulates  Rabbits, Pikas & Hares (Lagomorpha) 


By: Frank Fenner and FN Ratcliffe

379 pages, Figs, tabs

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Jun 2009 | #181412 | ISBN-13: 9780521112963
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NHBS Price: £31.99 $42/€36 approx

About this book

The outbreaks of myxomatosis among rabbits in Australia in 1950 and in Europe in 1952 provided scientists with opportunities of observing the course of the interaction of a very lethal virus disease with a large population of highly susceptible mammals, i.e. with a model system to study the evolution of an infectious disease, and the effects of an infectious disease on the evolution of a mammal.

This scientific account of the spread of the disease in Australia and Europe, of its effects upon rabbit numbers, and of the genetic changes that occurred in parasite and host, is of great interest to ecologists, virologists, parasitologists, mammalian zoologists, geneticists, agriculturists, and public health workers, as well as to those directly concerned with rabbit raising or control.

First published in 1965.


1. History and distribution of myxomatosis; 2. The Leporidae; 3. The rabbit in Australia; 4. Rabbit biology and behaviour; 5. Myxoma virus: its classification, structure and properties; 6. Interactions between myxoma virus and the host cell; 7. the host range of myxoma and fibroma viruses; 8. Myxomatosis in Oryctolagus cuniculus: pathogenesis and histopathology; 9. Myxomatosis in Oryctolagus cuniculus: the immunological response; 10. Myxomatosis in Oryctolagus cuniculus: environmental effects; 11. Mechanisms of transmission of myxomatosis; 12. Transmission in the field: Australian observations; 13. Changes in the virulence of myxoma virus for Oryctolagus cuniculus; 14. Changes in the genetic resistance of Oryctolagus cuniculus to myxomatosis; 15. Myxomatosis in the Americas; 16. Myxomatosis in Australia, 1950-63; 17. Myxomatosis in Europe, 1936-63; 18. The continuing evolution of myxomatosis; Map; Bibliography; Index.

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