Viral Fitness

Viral Fitness : The Next SARS and West Nile in the Making

4 (8 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 4 business days
When will my order arrive?


Despite vaccines and medicines, we have not succeeded in eradicating the most dangerous viruses in the world, like jaundice, measles, diarrhoea, polio and AIDS, not to mention newcomers like West Nile and SARS. Also, since September 11, it is no longer unthinkable that a terrorist would intentionally spread a virus among people or the food chain. In this book, Jaap Goudsmit argues that there is no such thing as life without viruses for many reasons, including the fact that many viruses spread without any visible signs, and can hide in animals; that there are too many different species of viruses and they multiply much faster than any animal or plant; and that infections strike especially in areas where life is difficult enough already, such as Africa and Asia. However, if viruses hold onto life so stubbornly, perhaps they can be useful to other living beings. Do viruses offer people a better chance of survival in a hostile world? Do viruses make people fitter? Some viruses seem to play a role in the process whereby our genes adapt to the environment. What is it that makes viruses incredibly strong, and can we learn something from it? What is the secret of the enormous "fitness" of viruses? Will viruses spell the end of mankind or will man always be able to offer resistance? This book attempts to answer these and other more

Product details

  • Hardback | 202 pages
  • 154 x 230 x 20mm | 498.96g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Revised and Upd.
  • 0195130340
  • 9780195130348

Review quote

"Overall, the book was entertaining, educational, informative, and presents a broad array of divergent virus systems in an understandable way." --The Quarterly Review of Biologyshow more

Table of contents

Introduction: virus basics and the concept of viral fitness ; 1. As natural as breathing: The flu virus ; 2. Farming and feeding the hungry: Plant viruses and human enteroviruses ; 3. Raising cattle and eating meat: Rinderpest, measles and mad cow disease ; 4. Slaking our thirst: The cholera bacteria and its toxic viruses ; 5. Weathering storms and droughts: West Nile virus and others others ; 6. Getting lucky with a faulty gene: Escape from simple retroviruses ; 7. Taking chances with sex: The herpes and papova viruses ; 8. Risking death with sex: The AIDS virus ; 9. Warring against humans and other animals: Smallpox, monkeypox and alike ; 10. Raiding the wild for delicacies: The SARS virus BookData Code MJCJshow more

About Jaap Goudsmit

Jaap Goudsmit received his MD and PhD from the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Amsterdam and is professor of poverty-related communicable diseases at the Academic Medical Center (AMC) of the University of Amsterdam. From 1981 until 2003 he published over 450 scientific articles and was called the most influential AIDS scientist of Europe by Science. Goudsmit was founding chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the International AIDS Vaccine Institute (IAVI) and cofounder of EuroVac, two initiatives to get an AIDS vaccine to people in need. He is now Chief Scientific Officer of Crucell, a NASDAQ-listed biotechnology company that makes vaccines and antibodies against infectious diseases. He is also chairman of the board of the AIDS Foundation East-West, an NGO focused on AIDS prevention in the countries of the former Soviet more

Rating details

8 ratings
4 out of 5 stars
5 25% (2)
4 50% (4)
3 25% (2)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X