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Mosquitoes, Malaria and Man [Hardcover]

Gordon Harrison
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Hardcover, 14 Sep 1978 --  

Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: John Murray Publishers Ltd (14 Sep 1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0719535808
  • ISBN-13: 978-0719535802
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,004,528 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By docread
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Although the book is showing its age now, it contains a good historical narrative of the tortuous path followed by the medical scientists to understand the disease since 1880 and its mode of spread through the mosquito vector.It describes the national and personal rivalries in this scientific enterprise as well as the cooperation between investigators.It focuses on the environmental and human factors that have facilitated the spread of the disease .There are interesting accounts of the mammoth task facing the Panama canal builders to eradicate the mosquitoes in the area and more poignantly the Italian state and its scientists to control the endemic disease in the South of Italy until achieved by Mussolini.The story continues as the parasite is becoming more resistant to the standard anti malarial drugs and the mosquito is becoming more difficult to control particularly in Africa where 3000 children die daily from Malaria.We are a long away from a successful vaccine despite unravelling the genome of the protozoan.

The work is a good companion to " The making of a tropical disease" by R. Packard which is more up to date but concentrates on the ecological history of the disease.Finally I was disappointed that the author failed to mention in his detailed account the contribution of the Indian Scientist Kishorimohan Bandyopadhyay who played an important part in assisting Ronald Ross investigations of the avian malaria and like the Italian Giovanni Grassi missed out on any form of recognition for his efforts.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent and useful book 10 May 2007
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is an excellent book on the history of a terrible disease. It is clear, accurate and very well written. The book is relatively old, so it does not include almost any information on the attempts (unsuccessful so far) to develop a vaccine, but if you are looking for a readable and accurate book to be introduced to the history of the fight against malaria and of the men who mostly contributed to it, I don't think there is a better choice. Desovitz has a more recent book (The malaria capers) which belongs to the same category, but his style is condescending and he tries to be funny without any real sense of humor. Also, while Desovitz intoduces sometimes technical concepts without really giving enough information to the non-expect reader to appreciate the content, Harrison reaches a great balance between scientific accuracy and readibility. Finally, you can buy an excellent used copy of this book for a pittance. Highly recommended!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful factual storytelling 7 Sep 2012
By Laurence Chalem - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I love these types of books that provide a history of a specific disease. In this case, the disease is malaria, meaning "bad air." Yes, that's what the folks in India and Africa would refer to it as. Who could or would believe that a one-celled creature with a terribly complex life-cycle is responsible for hundreds of millions of deaths worldwide? This story of malaria is elegantly and gently told by Gordon Harrison, and answers questions along the way of what was really going on, who was trying to figure it out, and much, much more.

Like many challenges in science and life in general, what one perceives to be the problem is rarely the way it turns out to be. Just a couple of minor roadblocks that would prove to be huge include (1) that these tiny complex creatures--apicomplexa--only parasitize one genus of mosquito; so right there, that narrows down the guilty parties. And (2) even within that genus, it is only the female of those flying vectors that takes the blood of vertebrates, allowing the "malaria" to access their primary host via the mosquito's saliva. Quite a fascinating "disease" when you think about it. There's no escaping the fact that we are part of the hostilities known as nature. Highly recommended... - lc
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic - To Bad It's Out of Print 14 Nov 2010
By reeNdogtown4670 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A great historical account of the history of Malaria research. It brings alive the accounts of the scientists that made the initial groundbreaking discoveries. It's a classic and can be hard to find - so happy I found it here and for a wonderful price.
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