Infectious Disease | Hektoen International

Anasplasmosis: what we can learn from Lam’s surrealistic animalarium

José de la Fuente Ciudad Real, Spain Figure 1.  Wilfredo Lam.  Untitled.  Ink drawing on paper, 1947 KGJ Collection, Spain Figure 2.  Wilfredo Lam.  Untitled.  Pastel on paper, 1970. KGJ Collection, Spain Figure 3.  Wilfredo Lam and Samuel Feijoo.  Conversaciones.  Ink on paper, 1981.  KGJ Collection, Spain   Epidemiology and art have met several times, […]

Jewish ritual immersion in the mikveh and the concept of communal immunity

Robert Stern Piotr Kozlowski David Forstein New York City, New York, United States   Figure 1. Mikveh in Palestine from the Biblical era The mikveh may be seen as part of the sociobiological process assuring the gradual cross exposure of community members to the biomes of other members. It also provides controlled exposure to the biomes […]

Washington’s deadliest enemy

Kathryn Tone Wiesbaden, Germany    George Washington, John Trumbull, 1790 As Commander of the Continental Army, General George Washington is famously remembered for the surprise 1776 Christmas attack on the Hessian garrison in Trenton, New Jersey. A bold, relatively spontaneous decision, the attack was a last-ditch effort to salvage some sort of victory after some punishing […]

The hidden history of Lomidine

M. Sophia Newman Chicago, Illinois, USA   The shot against sleeping sickness brought me so many problems The shot against sleeping sickness hurt me so… They pricked me in the back… And still, they want to send me to draw water If I try to slow my step The policeman hits me on the head […]

Bugs and people: when epidemics change history

Salvatore Mangione Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA    The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Albrecht Dürer, woodcut, c.1496-8 From left to right, Death (with a trident), Famine (with scales), War (with a sword) and Plague (with the arrows of pestilence) are crushing under their horses’ hooves all those unfortunate enough to stand in their wake. In a November […]

Path of compassion

Raisa Zubareva Warsaw, Poland   Kate Marsden, photographed in 1892 before she set off for Sakha in Siberia to search for a herb said to cure leprosy. Photo by Otto Renard, Moscow. In humble circumstances in one of London’s asylums for the insane, Kate Marsden, a nurse and philanthropist who devoted her life to saving others, died […]

Disease mapping: tracing the urban epidemic

Astrid Primadhani Jakarta, Indonesia   Snow’s map analysis to Thessian polygons (Cliff & Haggert) (1988): Atlas of Disease Distributions In August 1854 a deadly cholera outbreak struck the Soho neighborhood of London.1 Within thirty-six hours, rapid death ensued as the dense and unsanitary condition of the working-class neighborhood became a haven for the spread of […]

Tales from the crypt: the mosaic symbolism of Louis Pasteur’s tomb

Abigail Cline Augusta, Georgia, United States   Louis Pasteur’s tomb at the Pasteur Institute Hidden behind the Montparnasse Railway Station is the elegant brick and stone building of the Pasteur Institute. Since its opening in 1887, the Pasteur Institute has been on the front line in the battle against infectious disease. Consisting of research departments […]

Salk and Sabin: the disease, the rivalry and the vaccine

Kevin Loughlin Boston, MA, United States   Jonas Salk was born in a tenement in the East Harlem section of New York City. Albert Sabin was born in Poland and as a child immigrated to the United States with his parents. From these humble beginnings, they would emerge as two of the preeminent scientists of […]

Polio conundrums

Denis Gill Dublin, Ireland   Ancient Egyptian stele of Ruma For most children, infection with the polio virus caused no symptoms or a minor illness.  But about 1% of those infected experienced paralysis of one or both lower limbs. Worse still, bulbar paralysis could lead to the  inability to breathe. The effects of polio were […]