Category Archives: Malaria

Summer reading

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The summer seemed to fly by. Here is some of my reading from the summer. Let me know what you read this summer in the comments or on Twitter. 


Gibson, Abraham. (2016) Feral Animals in the American South: An Evolutionary History. Cambridge University Press.

Hutchison, Dale L (2016) Disease and Discrimination: Poverty and Pestilence in Colonial Atlantic America. University of Florida Press.



Green, M. (2017). The Globalisations of Disease. In N. Boivin, R. Crassard, & M. Petraglia (Eds.), Human Dispersal and Species Movement From Prehistory to the Present (pp. 494–520). Cambridge.

Silva, C. (2008). Miraculous Plagues: Epidemiology on New England’s Colonial Landscape. Early American Literature, 43(2), 249–270.

Newfield, T. P. (2017). Malaria and malaria-like disease in the early Middle Ages. Early Medieval Europe, 25(3), 251–300.

Moodley, Y., Linz, B., Bond, R. P., Nieuwoudt, M., Soodyall, H., Schlebusch, C. M., et al. (2012). Age of the Association between Helicobacter pylori and Man. PLoS Pathogens, 8(5), e1002693.

Maixner, F., Krause-Kyora, B., Turaev, D., Herbig, A., Hoopmann, M. R., Hallows, J. L., et al. (2016). The 5300-year-old Helicobacter pylori genome of the Iceman. Science (New York, NY), 351(6269), 162–165.

Domínguez-Bello, M. G., Pérez, M. E., Bortolini, M. C., Salzano, F. M., Pericchi, L. R., Zambrano-Guzmán, O., & Linz, B. (2008). Amerindian Helicobacter pylori Strains Go Extinct, as European Strains Expand Their Host Range. PLoS ONE, 3(10), e3307–7.

Baeza, A., Santos-Vega, M., Dobson, A. P., & Pascual, M. (2017). The rise and fall of malaria under land-use change in frontier regions. Nature Geosciences, 1(5), 1–7.

Tucker Lima, J. M., Vittor, A., Rifai, S., & Valle, D. (2017). Does deforestation promote or inhibit malaria transmission in the Amazon? A systematic literature review and critical appraisal of current evidence. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 372(1722), 20160125–11.

Viganó, C., Haas, C., Rühli, F. J., & Bouwman, A. S. (2017). 2,000 Year old β-thalassemia case in Sardinia suggests malaria was endemic by the Roman period. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 23(1), 147–9.

Calvignac-Spencer, S., & Lenz, T. L. (2017). The One Past Health workshop: connecting ancient DNA and zoonosis research. BioEssays, 39(7), 1700075–4.

Lynteris, C. (2017). Zoonotic diagrams: mastering and unsettling human‐animal relations. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 42, 713.

Donoghue, H. D. (2017). Insights gained from ancient biomolecules into past and present tuberculosis—a personal perspective. International Journal of Infectious Diseases, 56, 176–180.


Landscapes of Disease Themed Issue

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For the last couple years, I have been writing about a landscape-based approach to the study of infectious disease in general and historic epidemics in particular. When I first wrote about Lambin et al.’s now classic paper “Pathogenic landscapes” nearly three years ago, I did not know then that it would be so influential in my thinking or that the Medieval Congress sessions would be so successful. In the fall of 2014, Graham Fairclough and I began talking about ways that this first congress session could be represented in the journal he edits, Landscapes. This issue is a departure from their usual approach to landscape studies so I would like to thank Graham Fairclough for entrusting me with a whole issue. It has been a challenge for both of us, and I am proud of our product.

This issue represents the wide variety of studies that can be done all contributing to an understanding of past landscapes of disease. One of the reasons why I like the phrase landscape of disease, rather than simply landscape epidemiology, is that it opens up the array of disciplines that can be involved. In the study of diseases of the past, humanistic approaches can be as valuable as scientific methods. Both are required to build a reasonably coherent reconstruction of the past. Science and the humanities need to act as a check and balance on each other, hopefully in a supportive and collegial way.

The issue was published online a couple days ago. Accessing the journal through your library will register interest in the journal with both your library and the publisher, and would be appreciated. By now the authors should (or will soon) have their codes for their free e-copies if you do not have access otherwise.

Table of Contents

Landscapes of Disease by Michelle Ziegler. An introduction to the concept of ‘landscapes of disease’ and the articles in the issue. (Open access)

The Diseased Landscape: Medieval and Early Modern Plaguescapes by Lori Jones

The Influence of Regional Landscapes on Early Medieval Health (c. 400-1200 A.D.): Evidence from Irish Human Skeletal Remains by Mara Tesorieri

Malarial Landscapes in Late Antique Rome and the Tiber Valley by Michelle Ziegler

Epizootic Landscapes: Sheep Scab and Regional Environment in England in 1279-1280 by Philip Slavin

Plague, Demographic Upheaval and Civilisational Decline: Ibn Khaldūn and Muḥammed al-Shaqūrī on the Black Death in North Africa and Islamic Spain by Russell Hopley

plus seven book reviews. Enjoy!


Lambin, E. F., Tran, A., Vanwambeke, S. O., Linard, C., & Soti, V. (2010). Pathogenic landscapes: Interactions between land, people, disease vectors, and their animal hosts. International Journal of Health Geographics, 9(1), 54.

Private SNAFU learns about Malaria

Malaria was a major risk for American troops during World War II. The US Army enlisted the help of Theodor Geisil, Dr Seuss, to produce educational booklets and pamphlets (discussed here). They also turned to moving pictures to educate the troops.  Private Snafu was featured in a catalog of 26 SNAFU training films based on characters originally developed by Theodore Geisil and Phil Eastman and produced by Warner Bros. If these World War II cartoons has a familiar look, they were produced by Chuck Jones who produced most of the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons we all grew up with. These are the only two on malaria that I have found. Enjoy!

Private SNAFU vs Malaria Mike (1944)

Private SNAFU — Its Murder She Says (1945)