Includes bibliographical references (p. -) and index.
The war on germs -- From miasmas to microbes -- Germ theory reborn -- The sanitarians -- The search for magic bullets -- Life on man -- The body as ecosystem -- Into the mouths of babes -- Life on the surface -- Life on the inside -- Bugs in space -- Where no biologist has gone before -- The inner tube of life -- Who's the boss? -- A new window opens -- Stealth infections or innocent bystanders? -- Too clean? -- Hair trigger -- From Hippocrates to the hygiene hypothesis -- A history of self-destruction -- Children in the cowshed -- Teaching tolerance -- Innate immunity -- The dirt vaccine -- Old friends -- Beyond immunity -- Bugs on drugs -- A killer in the nursery -- An end to bacterial disease? -- Microscopic mating games -- The bacterial superorganism -- Danger ignored -- Old habits, new insights -- Out of the hospital and into our daily lives -- The reservoir withing -- Resistance by the shovel -- Down on the farm -- The antibiotic paradox -- Fighting smarter not harder -- The good old days? -- Preserving antibiotics a: less is more -- Homing in on the enemy -- Drugs with on -off switches -- Silencing resistance -- Farming out resistance -- Beyond antibiotics: new ways to kill -- Cocoons and frog slime -- Beyond lethal force: defang, deflect, and deploy -- Drugs that disarm -- Vaccines: forewarned is forearmed -- Domesticate and deploy -- Prescription probiotics -- Fighting fire with fire -- A superhero for the mouth -- Transgenic probiotics -- Probiotics for livestock -- A second neolithic revolution -- Fixing the patient -- The dragon within -- Enhancing the bionic human -- From sepsis to chronic inflammation -- Immunobug immunodrugs -- Tweaking the bug -- Into the future -- Embracing the microbiome.
Public sanitation and antibiotic drugs have brought about historic increases in the human life span; they have also unintentionally produced new health crises by disrupting the intimate, age-old balance between humans and the microorganisms that inhabit our bodies and our environment. As a result, antibiotic resistance now ranks among the gravest medical problems of modern times. [This book] addresses not only this issue but also what has become known as the "hygiene hypothesis" - an argument that links the over-sanitation of modern life to now-epidemic increases in immune and other disorders. In telling the story of what went terribly wrong in our war on germs, [the author] explores our emerging understanding of the symbiotic relationship between the human body and its resident microbes -- which outnumber its human cells by a factor of nine to one! The book also offers a ... look into a future in which antibiotics will be designed and used more wisely, and beyond that, to a day when we may replace antibacterial drugs and cleansers with bacterial ones -- each custom-designed for maximum health benefits. -Dust jacket.