Francis Andrew was inspired to write Pathogens from the Cosmos after reading Diseases from Space (1979) in which the authors, Sir Fred Hoyle and Professor N. Chandra Wickramasinghe, presented compelling evidence that influenza and other so-called infectious diseases actually have their origin in outer space. They are then brought to the Earth by comets thus challenging the conventional wisdom that pathogens are spread from human to human.
Pathogens from the Cosmos is a novel that mirrors the present day worries about the spread of the Swine Flu. The story takes place during the first third of the twenty-first century. The entire crew of a space station is killed by a mysterious virus. Scientists are baffled about the origin of the virus. One man, Professor William Brigmore, an astro-chemist working at Manchester University, uses all his powers of persuasion to convince the scientific and political establishments that the killer virus is an incident from space.