It’s that time again. I teach a class in even years on infectious causes of chronic disease, looking at the role various infections play in cancer, autoimmune disease, mental illness, and other chronic conditions. When I last taught the course in 2008, the students were assigned two writing assignments–to be posted here on the blog. Since this turned out pretty well last time, I decided to repeat the assignment this year; so over the next week or so, I will be putting up guest posts authored by students on various topics under the broad umbrella of infection and chronic disease.

Constructive comments on their posts are appreciated, but keep in mind that they’re students doing this as an assignment and still learning. Finally, these posts are the students’ own; I’m formatting them for publication here, but beyond that their words (and opinions!) are their own.

Post listing:

What is the hygiene hypothesis?

What might have caused my cousin’s nasopharyngeal carcinoma

Post-polio syndrome week: no presidential proclamation required

Cytomegalovirus and heart disease

A look into obesity and gut flora

A rule worth keeping?

Autism and the link to infectious disease

Getting the whole story–attempting to make sense of disease through evolutionary medicine

Parvovirus and Rheumatoid Arthritis–how are they related?

Reviewing the big P…Prions!

Enteroviruses and Type I Diabetes Mellitus

The role of beta-HPVs in skin cancer development

C-sections, allergies, and probiotics

HIV/AIDS prevention; time for change


  1. #1 murison
    February 22, 2010

    Glad to hear it! Last time (two years ago) was fun reading. Looking forward to some good stuff again.

  2. #2 Abel Pharmboy
    February 22, 2010

    I’m really looking forward to this, Professor Smith. I’ve long enjoyed your writing on infectious diseases but I’ve taken a more personal interest in chronic diseases with my current bout of pneumonia. I’ve noted on my blog just how amazed I am at how a long-term pulmonary infection can affect my entire being, including cognition and mood.

    I really appreciate also that you give this opportunity to your students to have their ideas discussed on such a high-profile, international forum. Wish I had a prof like you in my student days.

  3. #3 antipodean
    February 23, 2010

    Awesome. Glad to see it up and running. Great idea for your students too I would think.


  4. #4 Virulent Shoes
    February 24, 2010

    Would be very hard to isolate someone who has a chronic disease that is unrelated to environment, jut to prove the point.

    Very interesting anyway !

  5. #5 Kate
    February 24, 2010

    These have been a pleasure to read: thanks for posting them!