GLS 592: Infectious Diseases and Human Society
This course will consider the role infectious diseases have historically played in the development of human civilizations. A survey of the biological basis of infectious diseases and the characteristics of the responsible pathogens of epidemic and endemic human disease will be presented. The impact that epidemic disease has had upon the course of human history will be investigated. Today human beings have largely mastered all former predators and achieved virtual dominion of the Earth save the single exception of the microbial parasites responsible for infectious diseases. In this course, we will review the increasing threat posed by reemerging pathogens, once believed conquered, emerging new pathogens such as the AIDS virus, Ebola and other hemorrhagic viruses, and new novel infectious agents responsible for such diseases as, "mad cow disease". In addition, the biological threat presented by the potential use of infectious agents as weapons of war and/or terrorism in today's world and historically in the past will be discussed.
Last Update: Feb 10, 2008