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Copyright © 2002 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance.

The following is the established format for referencing this article:
Martens, P. 2002. Dieckmann,U., J. A. J. Metz, M. W. Sabelis, and K. Sigmund, editors. Adaptive Dynamics of Infectious Diseases: In Pursuit of Virulence Management. Cambridge Studies in Adaptive Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. Conservation Ecology 6(2): 13. [online] URL: http://www.consecol.org/vol6/iss2/art13/


Book Review

Dieckmann,U., J. A. J. Metz, M. W. Sabelis, and K. Sigmund, editors. Adaptive Dynamics of Infectious Diseases: In Pursuit of Virulence Management. Cambridge Studies in Adaptive Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

Pim Martens


International Centre for Integrative Studies, Maastricht University

Published: November 25, 2002


Historically, infectious diseases have had a profound effect on human, animal, and plant populations, including their evolution, population dynamics, and distribution. Despite recent advances in medical and veterinary science, infectious diseases continue to severely afflict human and animal populations throughout much of the world. Predictions that infectious diseases would be eliminated as a major threat have never come to pass, and many diseases are now resurgent or newly emerging.

Understanding the dynamics of these emerging infectious diseases is critical to reducing their morbidity and mortality, developing effective prevention and treatment strategies, establishing policies related to the threats they represent, and making decisions on where and how to use limited resources in the fight against these diseases. Analysis of the processes leading to the development of these diseases is important to determine which factors can be manipulated to reduce their impact.

This book provides a platform for research and analysis related to the mathematical modeling and management of infectious diseases. It addresses some key factors in infectious disease dynamics, including the development of antimicrobial resistance, the evolution of pathogen virulence, host population structures and changing transmission risk, and changes in disease patterns related to virulence management. These topical issues are well combined with a discussion of conceptual and methodological issues, such as mathematical modeling of emerging infectious, coevolutionary models, models of super- and co-infection, and models exploring spatial and temporal interactions, to name but a few.

Traditional infectious diseases models may not always be suitable to assess changes in disease risk. The use of adaptive dynamics, which are able to simulate processes of evolution and adaptation, may be essential in predicting changes in, e.g., virulence or spread of infectious diseases. The strength of this book lies in the connection of these mathematical models with empirical data and experiments—all explained in plain language.

Outstanding, intellectually stimulating, this is a meticulously researched book. It merits a prominent place on the bookshelves of researchers, teachers, and students who are concerned with the complex dynamics of infectious diseases. Readers of Conservation Ecology should be particularly interested in this book, as it is all about virulence management within the context of epidemiological and ecological complexities.


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Address of Correspondent:
Pim Martens
International Centre for Integrative Studies,
Maastricht University,
P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht,
The Netherlands
Phone: +31-43-3883555
P.Martens@icis.unimaas.nl



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