The full content of Annals is available to subscribers

Subscribe/Learn More  >
Ideas and Opinions |

Fever: Blessing or Curse? A Unifying Hypothesis

Philip A. Mackowiak, MD
[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

From the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland. Requests for Reprints: Philip A. Mackowiak, MD, Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 10 North Greene Street, Room 5D145, Baltimore, MD 21201. Acknowledgments: The author thanks Theodore E. Woodward, MD, Sheldon E. Greisman, MD, and Ronald P. Rabinowitz, MD, for review of the manuscript and Celeste Marousek for manuscript preparation. Grant Support: By the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Copyright ©2004 by the American College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1994;120(12):1037-1040. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-120-12-199406150-00010
Text Size: A A A

Considerable data indicate that fever and its mediators have the capacity both to potentiate and to inhibit resistance to infection.It is difficult to reconcile these apparently contradictory observations if they are viewed solely from the standpoint of the individual. However, when viewed from the perspective of the species, both fever's salutary effects on mild to moderately severe infections and its pernicious influence on fulminating infections become teleologically plausible. If one accepts preservation of the species, rather than survival of the individual, as the essence of evolution, fever and its mediators might have evolved as mechanisms both for accelerating recovery of individuals from localized or mild to moderately severe systemic infections in the interest of continued propagation of the species and for hastening the elimination of fulminantly infected individuals who pose a threat of epidemic disease to the species.







Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).


Submit a Comment/Letter
Submit a Comment/Letter

Summary for Patients

Clinical Slide Sets

Terms of Use

The In the Clinic® slide sets are owned and copyrighted by the American College of Physicians (ACP). All text, graphics, trademarks, and other intellectual property incorporated into the slide sets remain the sole and exclusive property of the ACP. The slide sets may be used only by the person who downloads or purchases them and only for the purpose of presenting them during not-for-profit educational activities. Users may incorporate the entire slide set or selected individual slides into their own teaching presentations but may not alter the content of the slides in any way or remove the ACP copyright notice. Users may make print copies for use as hand-outs for the audience the user is personally addressing but may not otherwise reproduce or distribute the slides by any means or media, including but not limited to sending them as e-mail attachments, posting them on Internet or Intranet sites, publishing them in meeting proceedings, or making them available for sale or distribution in any unauthorized form, without the express written permission of the ACP. Unauthorized use of the In the Clinic slide sets will constitute copyright infringement.


Buy Now for $32.00

to gain full access to the content and tools.

Want to Subscribe?

Learn more about subscription options

Related Articles
Journal Club
Topic Collections
PubMed Articles
Forgot your password?
Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a reminder to the email address on record.