I’m often asked by students to suggest books they can read about parasites. Below is a list of books that I’ve read and enjoyed. The list will be updated over time. Please feel free to suggest books that I should add to the list in the comments.

Textbooks or textbook-like books



Host Manipulation by Parasites edited by David Hughes, Jacques Brodeur, and Frédéric Thomas


Foundations of Parasitology (textbook) by Larry Roberts and John Janovy Jr.


Evolutionary Parasitology by Paul Schmid-Hempel




Parasitism and Ecosystems edited by Frédéric Thomas, François Renaud, and Jean-François Guégan (thanks to Alex Ley for reminding me to include this great book)


More pop sci-esque parasite books



This book played a huge role in my decision to become a parasitologist. Highly recommend.



Stories about how we become connected to our parasites through our long co-evolutionary history.


People, Parasites, and Plowshares by Dickson Despommier


This book is about one of my favorite topics: What have parasites “learned” through the process of natural selection about how human physiology works? How can we take the lessons these parasites have learned and use them to treat human disease?



Amazing stories of past and present parasites that jumped from wild hosts to human hosts. Also lots of stories about scientists being badasses.



Robert Desowitz talks about his experiences working with parasites (particularly neglected tropical diseases), and the people infected with these parasites.  He is an amazing story-teller, and really connects the reader with the human-suffering caused by these diseases.



More stories from Robert Desowitz.



The mind-blowing story about how D.A. Henderson led the battle against smallpox, and all of the hurdles he had to jump through in order to eradicate this disease.



An extremely well-researched overview of the Hygiene Hypothesis.  Moises Velasquez-Manoff provides a balanced view of the evidence for and against this hypothesis, and walks the reader through his experience with helminth therapy to treat his autoimmune diseases.

One Response to “Books on parasites”

  1. Tapeywormey

    I love you.

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