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Fever: Its Biology, Evolution, and Function

Fever: Its Biology, Evolution, and Function

Matthew J. Kluger
Copyright Date: 1979
Pages: 224
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  • Book Info
    Fever: Its Biology, Evolution, and Function
    Book Description:

    Fever has long been recognized as a symptom of disease. Until the past century it was considered a healthy sign; since then this view has changed and the use of drugs to reduce fever has grown quite common. Acting on the revival of interest as to whether the effects of fever are beneficial or harmful, Matthew Kluger and other physiologists began a series of experiments designed to resolve this question. This book synthesizes their research, making a case not only for the beneficial function of fever but also for the re-evaluation of current clinical practices regarding fever.

    Originally published in 1979.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-6983-1
    Subjects: Health Sciences

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
  3. List of Tables
    (pp. xi-xii)
  4. List of Figures
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
  5. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  6. Introduction
    (pp. xix-2)

    Fever has long been recognized as a symptom of disease. Until about 100 years ago, it seems that fever was considered to be a healthy sign during disease; but by the late 1800s this view began to change, and the use of antipyretic drugs to reduce fevers became commonplace.

    It has been difficult to obtain data pertinent to the question of whether fever has a beneficial or harmful effect on an infected host. As the result of indirect evidence, it has often been assumed that fever has survival value. This is because fever is an energetically costly process. As a...

  7. 1. Regulation of Body Temperature in the Vertebrates
    (pp. 3-50)

    The energy expended by “warm-blooded” organisms, such as ourselves, to regulate our body temperature is enormous: temperature regulation is costly. For example, at low environmental temperatures, people might have to expend 1800 kcal/day, or more, solely to generate the heat necessary to maintain a body temperature of 37°C and perhaps 10% more at febrile temperatures. This expenditure of energy often amounts to over 90% of the total energy used in any given day for performing external work. The energy, of course, comes from the food we eat, and as a result, we must eat an equivalent amount of kcal of...

  8. 2. The Biology of Fever
    (pp. 51-105)

    A relationship between fever and disease was apparent even to Hippocrates some 2,400 years ago. He recognized fever to be an important symptom of illness (Coxe 1846). Fever was also observed following various types of injuries. Hippocrates noted that inflammation, whether it resulted from injuries or from unknown causes, was often associated with fever. His writings are also filled with somewhat cryptic phrases alluding to his belief that fever was often a healthy sign during an infection; that is, that fever might play a beneficial role.

    Hippocrates, of course, was on shaky ground when he attempted to explain the actual...

  9. 3. The Evolution of Fever
    (pp. 106-128)

    A careful description of the phylogeny of fever would be very helpful to an understanding of many of its fundamental characteristics. It might also provide animal models which could be used to answer the question of whether fever was an adaptive mechanism which aided the host organism in combating infection (see Chapter 4). As a result, in 1973 a series of investigations was initiated to characterize the febrile responses of the vertebrates.

    In order to trace the phylogeny of fever in the vertebrates, it is first necessary to have a fundamental understanding of the evolutionary relationships of the vertebrates. There...

  10. 4. The Adaptive Value of Fever
    (pp. 129-166)

    The role of fever in disease has been debated for literally thousands of years. Reviews concerned with the biology of fever often have ended by raising the question of whether fever is beneficial (see, for example, Dubois 1948; Atkins and Bodel 1972). In 1960, Bennett and Nicastri reviewed this question and, on the basis of the information available to them, were unable to conclude whether fever was a host defense mechanism. Since 1972, however, research into several new areas related to the biology of fever has provided fresh insight into this question. This last chapter will review the literature, past...

  11. References
    (pp. 167-190)
  12. Index
    (pp. 191-195)
  13. Back Matter
    (pp. 196-196)