This series of entertaining essays provides a unique insight into some of the key discoveries that have shaped the field of parasitology. Based on interviews with 18 of the world's leading parasitologists and epidemiologists, the stories of their contributions to discovery in contemporary parasitology and infectious disease biology are told.
Taken together, the essays provide a historical account of the development of the field, serving as a bridge between these discoveries and current research. The book provides a real insight into the thought processes and approaches taken in generating break through scientific discoveries, ranging from immunology to ecology and from malaria and trypanosomiasis to schistosomiasis and Lyme disease.
Preface; Prologue; Introduction; 1. African trypanosomes and their VSGs; 2. Malaria: the real killer; 3. The HIV-AIDS vaccine and the disadvantage of natural selection: the yellow fever vaccine and the advantage of artificial selection; 4. Lyme disease: a classic emerging disease; 5. The discovery of ivermectin: a 'crap shoot', or not?; 6. 'You came a long way to see a tree'; 7. Infectious disease and modern epidemiology; 8. The 'Unholy Trinity' and the geohelminths: an intractable problem?; 9. Hookworm disease: insidious, stealthily treacherous; 10. The spadefoot toad and Pseudodiplorchis americanus: an amazing story of two very aquatic species in a very dry land; 11. The schistosomes: split-bodied flukes; 12. Dicrocoelium dendriticum and Halipegus occidualis: Their life cycles and a genius at work; 13. Trichinosis and Trichinella spp. (all eight of them, or is it nine?); 14. Phylogenetics: a contentious discipline; 15. Toxoplasma gondii, Sarcocystis neurona, and Neospora caninum: the worst of the coccidians?; Summary.
Gerald W. Esch is Charles M. Allen Professor of Biology at Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA. He is editor of the Journal of Parasitology, the author of Parasites, People and Places: Essays on Field Parasitology (2004) and co-author of the textbook Parasitism (2001). He is a recipient of the Louis T. Benezet Distinguished Alumnus Award from his undergraduate alma mater, Colorado College, in 1992, and of the Clark P. Read Mentor Award from the American Society of Parasitologists in 1999.