‘Human Respiratory Viral Infections’: Prof Sunit K Singh


Varanasi: The book ‘Human Respiratory Viral Infections’ has been edited by a leading Molecular Virologist, Prof. Sunit K. Singh, Head of the Molecular Biology Unit, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu university. The book has been published by prestigious international publisher, Taylor & Francis, USA.

“Respiratory infections are a major cause of morbidity and mortality in humans worldwide, and most acute upper and lower respiratory infectious conditions are primarily caused by viruses. Many of these viruses cause the highest burden of disease in specific risk groups such as young infants, the elderly and immune-compromised individuals,” says Prof. Singh. While most of the respiratory viruses of humans have been identified during the course of the last century, a dozen “new” highly relevant respiratory viruses have been discovered in the last decade, he says adding further, “These do not only include viruses that have been circulating in humans for many decades or even centuries, such as human metapneumovirus, human bocavirus and human coronaviruses NL63 and HKU1, but also viruses that have recently emerged as a result of interspecies transmissions from animal reservoirs”.


The first part of the book gives an overview of the knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the human respiratory tract and its defense mechanism against virus infections. Factors that are crucial for the spread of respiratory virus infections like environmental factors, cough formation and aerosol development are addressed. A description of tools to diagnose these respiratory infections and general measures for their management at the level of individual patients and the population at large, as well as an overview of animal models to test such intervention strategies, conclude the first part of this book.


The second part gives a detailed description of established respiratory viruses as well as more recently emerged viruses of the human respiratory tract infections. The commonly known viruses that infect the respiratory tract, and either alone or in combination with other viruses or bacteria cause more or less severe upper and lower respiratory tract conditions like the plethora of rhino-, Roth- and paramyxoviruses, or cause more systemic disease, like adeno- or measles viruses are being described in great detail. The recently identified human respiratory viruses, originating from animal reservoirs, like influenza viruses from birds, and Hendra- and Nipah viruses as well as SARS- and MERS-coronaviruses from bats, the etiologic role, and burden of disease and development of intervention strategies are also covered in great detail in this book. The data presented in this book provides an extensive and timely overview of the current knowledge of long known and newly emerged respiratory viruses of humans, and the ways to diagnose and combat them efficiently with state-of-the-art intervention tools.


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