The author is a professor of microbiology who has written an excellent book for the lay-person interested in the struggle between microbes and humans. It's partly a history of the ever-changing balance between the two from early man as a hunter/gatherer to modern urbane life. She makes it very clear how the development of agriculture and the gathering together of people into towns has increased our vulnerability to a greater range of organisms.
At times it reads almost like a war as viruses, bacteria and fungi rapidly mutate and sometimes collaborate to defeat our immune systems. I have a biological background but learned a lot about the latest microbiological research which is revealing just how well these microbes are doing in infecting us to their benefit. After reading this book I feel more alarmed at just how vulnerable we are to new microbes evolving with lethal power, but it also made me think more about how to avoid helping them by,for example, taking unnecessary antibiotics or failing to complete a course of treatment.
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