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The UC Monograph Series

The first of these is A Brief Overview of the History of Human Communicable Diseases and Potential Future Zoonotic Threats with Particular Reference to Viruses and Tuberculosis. This extensive review covers:

- a basic introductory background on the most relevant aspects of epidemiology;
- an overview of zoonotic diseases (‘spill-overs’), together with a consideration of the archetypal of these, rabies;
- a survey of present understanding of recent hominin evolution and the spread of humans out of Africa, to set the context for immediately following sections;
- an analysis of the communicable disease burden in ancestral humans (with particular reference to viruses and tubercular bacteria), based on proposed components;
- evidence for epidemiological transitions subsequent to the time of the out-of-Africa migration;
- the nature of the contagious diseases which have progressively emerged during this time as a result of spill-overs which have become more-or-less endemic to humans, including the appearance of ‘crowd’ diseases;
- the continuing threat of other such spill-overs from a diversity of different groups of warm-blooded vertebrates;
- arising out of this is the fact that what have been largely ‘drip-overs’ into isolated communities in the past means that these may represent an increasing threat today with the globalisation of society and the potential for onward transmission to an ever-growing and increasingly interconnected pool of susceptible individuals; - that such threats are real is supported by historical evidence – the continuing threat of new influenza A strains and for the recent impact of outbreaks of the SARS and Ebola viruses, for example;
- thus it has been proposed that there is the need for a global surveillance system to detect potential future threats, based on the identification of regional ‘hot spots’;
- this should be part of a campaign to make people aware of such potential threats;
- however such a campaign needs to take into account the vagaries of human nature and the impact of social media in order to be effective;
- the same applies for the vagaries of different nations.
The present monograph is unique in the scope of its coverage, aspiring to cover a diversity of fields from the microbiological through to the need to consider economic and sociological factors in dealing with disease threats.

A copy of the whole monograph can be found here.
A copy of much of the main body of the text is also available for download.

- For ease of reading, this lacks most of the in-text citations and footnotes.
- It also lacks the list of references.