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Publisher's Summary

An Epidemic of Absence asks what will happen in developing countries, which, as they become more affluent, have already seen an uptick in allergic disease: Will India end up more allergic than Europe? Velasquez-Manoff also details a controversial underground movement that has coalesced around the treatment of immune-mediated disorders with parasites. Against much of his better judgment, he joins these do-it-yourselfers and reports his surprising results.

An Epidemic of Absence considers the critical immune stimuli we inadvertently lost as we modernized, and the modern ills we may be able to correct by restoring them. At stake is nothing less than our health and that of our loved ones. Researchers, meanwhile, have the good fortune of living through a paradigm shift, one of those occasional moments in the progress of science when a radically new way of thinking emerges, shakes things up, and suggests new avenues of treatment. You'll discover that you're not you at all, but a bustling collection of organisms, an ecosystem whose preservation and integrity requires the utmost attention and care.

©2012 Moises Velasquez-Manoff; "Afterword to the Paperback Edition" copyright 2013 by Moises Velasquez-Manoff (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Velasquez-Manoff's engaging global study examines the boons and risks associated with the hypothesis that more parasites might prevent and possibly cure many illnesses, ranging from diabetes to depression. If you read one book about friendly parasites this season, let this be the one." ( Booklist, starred review)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book, terrible narrator

This book had the worst narrator I have ever heard in an audio book. His constant up talk inflection at the end of every sentence made this book unlistenable. I read it instead and can say that the content is fascinating and worth reading. Wish they had choose. Another narrator, and I’ve noted his name and will avoid any books he’s narratored going forward.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Scientifically researched book for regular people

Moises did an extraordinary job taking scientific research and verbiage and breaking it down for the rest of us. With how dense the book it is definitely going to take a few listens.

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  • rtgymnast
  • RAYTOWN, MO, United States
  • 11-03-17

The point of view from a Veterinarian immunologist

The author made science enjoyable; keeping its credibility and selecting the right hot topics. Viewed from my veterinarian perspective, it only lacked the fact that vaccine’s adjuvants trigger a booster effect not only to the antigens in the vaccine itself but to all allergens it may encounter in the body while it lasts, and this is more common practice in developed countries which on top of the parasites is making the difference.
Congratulations