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Volume 15, Number 3—March 2009
Books and Media

Forgotten People, Forgotten Diseases: The Neglected Tropical Diseases and Their Impact on Global Health and Development

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Peter J. Hotez
American Society for Microbiology Press, Washington, DC, USA, 2008
ISBN: 978-1555814403
Pages: 215; Price: US $39.95

Forgotten People, Forgotten Diseases is an interesting and highly informative book about the global status of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Author Peter Hotez introduces NTDs by describing them in general, their historical importance and global impact, and their shared characteristics. According to Hotez, NTDs are among the most common infections from antiquity and occur in the world’s poorest people. Their distribution and health and economic effects are similar to those of AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis. NTDs, however, are much less well known than these diseases and frequently display high rates of illness but few deaths, promote poverty, and create profound social stigma.

Twelve well-illustrated chapters address the important NTDs, including soil-transmitted helminth infections, schistosomiasis, filariasis, onchocerciasis, trachoma, mycobacterial infections, trypanosomiasis, leishmaniasis, dengue, leptospirosis, and rabies. Hotez discusses what these diseases are, where they occur, and who they affect. The final chapters focus on prospects to prevent and control NTDs and the need for additional advocacy. Hotez emphasizes the need for new safer and more effective drugs, as well as for so-called “anti-poverty vaccines,” which by promoting health will open doors to economic advancement and stability, goals that have been all but impossible in developing countries, largely because of NTDs.

Few people are more qualified to write such a book than Hotez, president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute and a pioneer in hookworm molecular genetics, physiology, immunology, and pathogenesis. This easy-to-read and up-to-date text undoubtedly will prove useful to graduate students, volunteers, advocates, healthcare professionals, and others interested in global health and equality. Forgotten People, Forgotten Diseases is an essential read for every serious student of tropical medicine and global infectious diseases.


Charles Ben BeardComments to Author 
Author affiliation: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA


Cite This Article

DOI: 10.3201/eid1503.081597

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Please use the form below to submit correspondence to the authors or contact them at the following address:

C. Ben Beard, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mailstop P02, 3150 Rampart Rd, Fort Collins, CO 80521, USA;

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Page created: December 07, 2010
Page updated: December 07, 2010
Page reviewed: December 07, 2010
The conclusions, findings, and opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the authors' affiliated institutions. Use of trade names is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by any of the groups named above.