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The Legal Aspects of Infectious Diseases by Benjamin Tanner, PhD

The Legal Aspects of Infectious Diseases

Benjamin Tanner, PhD

This book is a practical and readable guide to the legal implications of infectious diseases. Although written for the legal profession, it is helpful reading for anyone interested in the legal and economic impacts of, and the science behind, hospital-acquired infections, body-fluid transmitted, insect-transmitted, airborne, waterborne, and foodborne illness.


According to the book's preface: 

This book is designed to help legal professionals accurately and self-assuredly litigate infectious disease claims by providing practical information about microorganisms and disease transmission. It spans three professional disciplines and myriad specific areas of study and can serve as an informative guide to the science of infectious diseases or a handy resource during litigation. The first part of this book discusses infectious disease litigation generally, including the role of the expert witness and the types of claims that are likely to arise. Next, the reader is introduced to microorganisms and microbiology in an accurate, yet understandable, way. Infectious diseases are described, grouped by mode of disease transmission, such that lawyers, judges, epidemiologists, microbiologists, and physicians can locate salient information without trouble. Finally, the book addresses malevolent use of microorganisms and discusses how risks of infection can be estimated accurately and communicated appropriately to the public. By reading this book, you will gain a well-rounded understanding of infectious diseases and disease transmission that will help to prepare for success during infectious disease litigation.


About the Author


Dr. Benjamin Tanner is the founder and president of Antimicrobial Test Laboratories, LLC, a microbiology laboratory specializing in the testing of disinfectants and other antimicrobial products.  Tanner holds a B.S. in Molecular Biology and a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Arizona, where he studied environmentally mediated disease transmission and assessed infection risks for workers.


The Legal Aspects of Infectious Disease - Table of Contents 


Chapter 1: Infectious Disease Litigation
1.1 Chapter Preview
1.2 Introduction
1.3 Claims
1.4 The Expert Witness
1.5 Chapter Summary

Chapter 2: Overview of Microbes and Infection
2.1 Chapter Preview
2.2 Introduction
2.3 A Brief History of Microbiology
2.4 Types of Microorganisms
A. Viruses
B. Bacteria
C. Parasites
D. Fungi
2.5 Omnipresence of Microbial Life
2.6 Pathogenic versus Non-Pathogenic Microorganisms
2.7 The Immune System
2.8 Sequelae of Infectious Diseases
2.9 Routes of Disease Transmission
2.10 Economic Impact of Infectious Diseases
2.11 Chapter Summary

Chapter 3: Biology of Microorganisms: The Fundamentals for Lawyers and Judges
3.1 Chapter Preview
3.2 Introduction
3.3 Helpful Generalizations
3.4 Bacteria
3.5 Viruses
3.6 Parasites
3.7 Fungi
3.8 Viroids and Prions
3.9 Chapter Summary

Chapter 4: Virulence and Antibiotic Resistance
4.1 Chapter Preview
4.2 Introduction
4.3 Adhesion and Invasion Factors
4.4 Toxins
4.5 Gene Transfer and the DNA Plasmid
4.6 Antibiotics and Antibiotic Resistance
4.7 Antiviral Drugs
4.8 Chapter Summary

Chapter 5: The Indicator Concept
5.1 Chapter Preview
5.2 Introduction
5.3 Criteria for Indicator Microorganisms
5.4 Examples of Indicator Microorganisms
5.5 Problems with Indicator Microorganisms
5.6 Chapter Summary

Chapter 6: Infectious Disease Investigations
6.1 Chapter Preview
6.2 Introduction
6.3 False-Negative and False-Positive Results
6.4 Diagnostic Controls
6.5 Good Laboratory Practices
6.6 Growth-Dependent Diagnostic Methods
6.7 Molecular Diagnostic Methods
6.8 Immunological Diagnostic Methods
6.9 Epidemiological Investigations
6.10 Chapter Summary

Chapter 7: Waterborne Microbial Diseases
7.1 Chapter Preview
7.2 Introduction
7.3 Water Contamination
7.4 Drinking Water and Disease
7.5 Recreational Water and Disease
7.6 Wastewater Treatment
7.7 Drinking Water Treatment
7.8 Commonly Implicated Pathogens
7.9 Chapter Summary

Chapter 8: Foodborne Microbial Diseases
8.1 Chapter Preview
8.2 Introduction
8.3 Pathogens in the Food Supply
8.4 Contamination During Food Processing and Service
8.5 The HACCP System for Assuring Food Safety
8.6 Substantiation of Foodborne Disease Claims
8.7 Commonly Implicated Pathogens
8.8 Chapter Summary

Chapter 9: Airborne Microbial Diseases
9.1 Chapter Preview
9.2 Introduction
9.3 Bioaerosols
9.4 Diseases from Outdoor Air
9.5 Diseases from Indoor Air
9.6 Commonly Implicated Pathogens
9.7 Chapter Summary

Chapter 10: Body-fluid and Insect-borne Diseases
10.1 Chapter Preview
10.2 Introduction
10.3 Bloodborne Diseases
10.4 Insect-Borne Diseases
10.5 Sexually Transmitted Diseases
10.6 Commonly Implicated Pathogens
10.7 Chapter Summary

Chapter 11: Hospital-Acquired Infections
11.1 Chapter Preview
11.2 Introduction
11.3 Types of Hospital-Acquired Infections
A. Urinary Tract Infections
B. Wound Infections
C. Pneumonia
D. Gastrointestinal infections
E. Bloodstream infections
11.4 Handwashing, Disinfection, and Sterilization
11.5 Commonly Implicated Pathogens
11.6 Chapter Summary

Chapter 12: Biological Weapons
12.1 Chapter Preview
12.2 Introduction
12.3 Bacteria of Concern
12.4 Viruses of Concern
12.5 Toxins as Biological Weapons
12.6 Chapter Summary

Chapter 13: Microbial Risk Assesment
13.1 Chapter Preview
13.2 Introduction
13.3 Risk Perception
13.4 Usefulness of Microbial Risk Assessment
13.5 The Process of Microbial Risk Assessment
A. Hazard identification
B. Dose-response modeling
C. Exposure assessment
D. Risk characterization
13.6 Reliability of Microbial Risk Assessments
13.7 Chapter Summary 



The Legal Aspects of Infectious Diseases:  Created on May 29th, 2008.  Last Modified on May 29th, 2008


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