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This multidisciplinary book is at the crossroads between two major scientific fields of the 21st century: evolutionary biology and infectious diseases. The genomic revolution has upset modern biology and has revolutionized our approach to ancient disciplines such as evolutionary studies. In particular, this revolution is profoundly changing our view on genetically driven human phenotypic diversity, and this is especially true in disease genetic susceptibility. Infectious diseases are indisputably the major challenge of medicine. When looking globally, they are the number one killer of humans and therefore the main selective pressure exerted on our species. Even in industrial countries, infectious diseases are now far less under control than 20 years ago. The first part of this book covers the main features and applications of modern technologies in the study of infectious diseases. The second part provides detailed information on a number of the key infectious diseases such as malaria, SARS, avian flu, HIV, tuberculosis, nosocomial infections and a few other pathogens that will be taken as examples to illustrate the power of modern technologies and the value of evolutionary approaches.
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Michel Tibayrenc, MD, PhD, has worked on the evolution of infectious diseases for more than 35 years. He is a director of research emeritus at the French Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), the founder and editor-in-chief of Infection, Genetics and Evolution (Elsevier), with a 2014 impact factor of 3.015, and the founder and principal organizer of the international congresses MEEGID (molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics of infectious diseases). He is the author of more than 200 international papers. He has worked for one year in Algeria (as a general practitioner), one year in French Guiana, seven years in Bolivia, five years in the United States, and three years in Thailand. He has been the head of the unit of research “genetics and evolution of infectious diseases at the IRD research center in Montpellier, France, for 20 years. With his collaborator Jenny Telleria, he is the founder and scientific adviser of the Bolivian Society of Human Genetics (2012). He has won the prize of the Belgian Society of tropical medicine (1985), the medal of the Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Rio de Janeiro (2000), for his work on Chagas disease, and he is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1993).
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