by George Maedonald, C.M.G., M.D., F.R.C.P., Director of the Ross Institute of Tropical Hygiene; Professor of Tropical Hygiene, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. 201 + liv pp., illustrated with figures and tables. London, New York and Toronto, Oxford University Press, 1957. Price, $7.50 in U.S.A
From the time of Hippocrates to the etiological discoveries of the last quarter of the 19th century the epidemiology of malaria, without knowledge of parasite or vector, concerned itself perforce with the circumstances under which the disease occurred and spread. When the discoveries of Laveran and Ross disclosed the full cycle of transmission, the old “circumstantial” epidemiology gave way to the studies of the parasite and the vector which constitute the great advance of the last half century. Nevertheless, the mass of detailed knowledge accumulated by this “biological” approach to epidemiology has not provided a satisfactory understanding of the diverse manifestations of the disease under the almost infinite number of possible combinations of biological and circumstantial variables. Professor Macdonald now attempts to identify and evaluate the measurable factors influencing the transmission and endemicity of malaria, and thus to provide a scientific basis for the explanation of the differences in the malaria picture under varying ecologic conditions.