Infectious disease will affect most of us at some point in our lives, despite tremendous advances in medicine over the past century. We all still fall ill from pathogens in our everyday environments - but many of us now survive infections which would have proved fatal in the past. Our understanding of the nature of infectious diseases continues to grow - as does our understanding of the human immune system. We continue to develop drugs and public health regimens to
attempt to treat or prevent more and more diseases from causing acute sickness and/or long-term health problems - and indeed, we have been successful at eradicating (or almost eradicating) a number of previously common illnesses over the past fifty years.
This text explores the structure and function of each distinct type of pathogen (bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites and prion disease), as well as the biochemical processes taking place when an infection is caused by any of these agents. It goes on to look at the role the human immune system plays in preventing, containing and destroying pathogens which enter the human body, using up to date research to ensure that students are abreast of the most recent developments in immunology. The text
also examines the <"evolutionary arms race> " between human beings and infectious disease, looking at genetic traits which confer protection against some infectious diseases, and how pathogens are constantly changing to work around our defences.
The final section of the primer explores disease prevention and treatment - antibiotics, antivirals and antifungal agents and their mechanisms of action; public health and vaccination; the dangers of antibiotic resistance; and potential sources for new antimicrobial agents around the world.
Online quizzes for each chapter so that students can quickly check their understanding of the key concepts
Artwork from the book in easy-to-download format, for use in class materials and handouts
Dr William Fullick MBBS MRCGP trained at the University of East Anglia, qualifying in 2009. He went on to complete his junior doctor years in Devon and Cornwall, rotating through a number of different medical specialities before deciding on general practice as a career and passing his Royal College of General Practitioners exams in 2015. Working part time as a GP in the West Country allows him to see a wide variety of patients, whilst also fitting in his lifelong passion for writing. William really enjoys using his medical and scientific knowledge to educate and inspire others, helping people understand more about their own bodies, the diseases that beset them and the treatments available.
Abbreviations 1: The silent enemy 2: A pantheon of pathogens 1: Bacteria, fungi and viruses 3: A pantheon of pathogens 2: Parasites, prions and cultures 4: Defending against the invaders 5: Fighting against infection: a chemical approach 6: Fighting against infection: vaccination and public health 7: Global outbreaks, a post-antibiotic landscape, and the evolutionary arms race Glossary