Farming Human Pathogens: Ecological Resilience and Evolutionary Process introduces a cutting-edge formalism based on the asymptotic limit theorems of information theory to describe how punctuated shifts in mesoscale ecosystems can entrain patterns of gene expression and organismal evolution. The development is applied to several infectious diseases that have evolved in response to the world as humans have made it. Many pathogens emerging from underneath epidemiological control are ‘farmed’ in the metaphorical sense, as the evolution of drug resistant HIV makes clear, but some, like avian influenza, emerge quite literally as the result of new practices in industrial farming. Effective disease control in the 21st Century must necessarily involve broad economic and social reform for reasons embedded in the basics of pathogen evolution.
The book is aimed at graduate students and researchers working in computational biology and mathematical modeling of biological processes, public health professionals and academic scientists working in public health and medical geography, and mathematically trained evolutionary biologists and ecologists, particularly those concerned with human pathogens.
Farming Human Pathogens will be released by Springer in March 2009.