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The Perfect Predator

A Scientist's Race to Save Her Husband from a Deadly Superbug: A Memoir
Narrated by: Christine Lakin, Dan Woren
Length: 11 hrs and 31 mins
5 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Epidemiologist Steffanie Strathdee and her husband, psychologist Tom Patterson, were vacationing in Egypt when Tom came down with a stomach bug. What at first seemed like a case of food poisoning quickly turned critical, and by the time Tom had been transferred via emergency medevac to the world-class medical center at UC San Diego, where both he and Steffanie worked, blood work revealed why modern medicine was failing: Tom was fighting one of the most dangerous antibiotic- resistant bacteria in the world.

Frantic, Steffanie combed through research old and new and came across phage therapy: the idea that the right virus, aka "the perfect predator," can kill even the most lethal bacteria. Phage treatment had fallen out of favor almost 100 years ago, after antibiotic use went mainstream. Now, with time running out, Steffanie appealed to phage researchers all over the world for help. She found allies at the FDA, researchers from Texas A&M, and a clandestine Navy biomedical center - and together they resurrected a forgotten cure.

A nail-biting medical mystery, The Perfect Predator is a story of love and survival against all odds, and the (re)discovery of a powerful new weapon in the global superbug crisis. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2019 Steffanie Strathdee, Thomas Paterson, and Teresa Barker (P)2019 Hachette Audio

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  • Overall
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    5 out of 5 stars

A most important and timely topic!

A fascinating story that everyone should hear! Read this, educate yourself and spread the word.

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  • Anne O
  • 2019-05-06

Bio-thriller!

Bio-thriller! Brilliant, female voice excellent. Passion for science, devotion to her husband, and the race against time. true scientific cooperation saved him.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Logan Voegtly
  • 2019-04-09

Pushing Science Forward!

A must read, especially for those in the medical field. This is an amazing story of one woman who assembled a team of brave doctors and researchers to push forward the boundaries of science to fight a superbug and save her husband. This book is more than just her story, it details a momentous moment in history, where phage therapy is approved by the FDA in America. This is paving the way for phage therapy to become a viable addition to the arsenal in the war against antibiotic resistant bacteria.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • LuckyFish
  • 2019-08-01

Compelling and excellent read!

Absolutely loved this real-life journey, told through the eyes and heart of scientists but in a way that is accessible to every person. Really high recommended listening. Perfect Predator reveals a reality that is relevant to us all and worth understanding. The writing has captured a traumatic experience with such lovely detail and sensitivity.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • yarngirl1952
  • 2019-07-16

Hang on to your seat; this book is a wild ride.

I loved this book. I am a microbiologist by training and passion. I am familiar with super bugs, but Acinetobacter was a surprise. Back in my day, like Stephanie, that bug was tame compared to Staph or Streptococcus. I am also familiar with phages, but not as killers. I have just used them to transfer DNA.

The book was well written, but I thought Tom's interludes, though necessary, were a little creepy. Be prepared.

Stephanie's and Tom's experience should be a wake up call to doctors and patients alike. We should think twice about treating infections with antibiotics. What is now an uncomplicated ear infection or bladder infection could become life threatening if we are not careful. So next time ask, is there another way to treat this infection? Do I have to take antibiotics?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Shannon Reeves
  • 2019-07-04

Thank you for writing this book!

I wish everyone could read this book and wake up to what we are all doing that endangers our lives. Thank goodness they never gave up. Read it and stop with unnecessary antibiotics in foods and meds!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Lora HV
  • 2019-03-30

such an important story

Thank goodness antibiotics are not the only answer! I enjoyed the story and leaning about phage therapy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-03-28

Incredible!

Really really good. As a medical student i enjoyed listening. Most of the story happened in the ICU. Story from the wife perspective. I recommend it!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Tina W.
  • 2019-03-21

Highly Recommended

I highly recommend this book. I didn't want it to end. Excellent! The narrator's were excellent too

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • me
  • 2019-03-16

Magnificent book

Don't miss this. An inspirational book about love, science and not giving up. A medical thriller with a heart. Through harrowing experiences, goodness arises and the world changes for the better. Congratulations to Stef, Tom, Chip, Connie, Davey and many others for inspiring us. I am so glad to have listened to this book and have recommended it to friends and colleagues.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • regina leyva
  • 2019-08-15

Fascinating!

Get ready to be thoroughly engrossed in this retelling of the tragedy & triumph of Steffani and Tom's story. The choice of narrators is perfect and enhances the overall listening experience. I highly recommend for a thoughly fascinating dive into the world of phage therapy.