Medicine & Anatomy

Ross, Ronald, et al. | The Prevention of Malaria

  • First edition of this significant work by the doctor who identified the transmission pathway of malaria.

    Ronald Ross (1857-1932) was a physician in the Indian Medical Service who became interested in malaria during the 1890s. He was mentored by Patrick Manson, the leading British specialist in tropical diseases, and set out to prove Manson’s mosquito hypothesis. Ross’s first breakthrough was proving that the parasite in question could be transmitted to mosquito stomachs from infected humans, and he was then able to track the entire infection cycle in birds using avian malaria. It was the Italian Giovanni Battista Grassi who conclusively demonstrated the cycle in humans shortly thereafter.

    During the resulting debates on prevention, Ross “strongly favoured vector control as the most cost-efficient means to prevent the disease, and he developed a sophisticated mathematical model of malaria epidemiology to show that it was not necessary to eradicate all Anophelines in a particular area to effect a significant reduction in malaria incidence. Ross's model was rooted in the mathematics of probability (what he called a theory of happenings), and although it was later recognized as a basis of mathematical epidemiology it was poorly appreciated in Ross's lifetime and made relatively little impact” (ODNB). Ross elaborated on his mathematical ideas in The Prevention of Malaria, which contained “chapters by different experts on malaria control in many malarious countries, but the bulk of the monograph contained Ross's own reconstruction of the contributions made by various individuals to the discovery of the transmission of malaria by Anopheles mosquitoes” (ODNB). The volume also contains sections on the history of malaria and the progress and symptoms of the disease.

  • ...With Many Illustrations. London: John Murray, 1910.

    Large octavo. Original red cloth, titles to spine and upper board gilt, borders blocked in blind. 30 plates of which 3 are folding, tables and graphs within the text. 4 leaves of ads at rear. Ink stamps of the John Holt Company, Liverpool to the front free endpaper, pages 95, 241, 273, 289, and 481 as well as two of the folding plates. Cloth a little rubbed at the extremities, spotting to the edges of the text block and the early and late leaves, and scattered spotting throughout the contents. Very good condition.