Pathology, that is, the study of disease in the broadest sense, has
received only limited attention from the point of view of general biology.
Problems connected with the evolution of disease, with the significance of
pathologic processes in evolution, and others of like nature, seem to occupy
but little of the interest of either biologists or pathologists. We have human
pathology, veterinary and animal pathology, vegetable pathology, each with
its various subdivisions, and each cultivated with great assiduity on account
of its practical and economic importance, but general comparative pathology,
somewhat after the order of general comparative anatomy, as yet has barely
shown signs of development. Perhaps the most important contribution from the
little cultivated field is Metchnikoff's well-known comparative study of inflammation,
in which he traces some of the principal phenomena of the inflammatory process
up through the ascending stages of the animal kingdom. This work has contributed
greatly to a broader understanding of the nature and significance of inflammation.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF PATHOLOGIC PROCESSES IN EVOLUTION.. JAMA. 2004;292(1):119. doi:10.1001/jama.292.1.119