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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Janet Hudzicki, PhD (University of Kansas Medical Center)
Description: This is the ninth edition of an entry-level microbiology textbook written by a distinguished educator who is also an outstanding microbiologist.
Purpose: With his extensive educational experience, the author writes a student-focused textbook that is readable, interesting, and addresses diseases that are common enough to be recognized by students. Three of the five sections of the book focus on basic science concepts, such as cell structure and function, basic biochemistry concepts of metabolism, microbial genetics, and include an updated section on the immune system (previous edition 2007). Two sections cover human disease caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites.
Audience: The student-focused approach makes his book an excellent choice for introductory microbiology courses for students in health, allied health, nursing, dental hygiene, medical assistance, sanitary science, and clinical laboratory sciences. A microbiology course using this textbook will also be helpful to individuals planning to pursue careers in pharmacy, food science, agriculture, environmental science, and health administration.
Features: The author's expertise as an educator is apparent in the student learning aids he offers throughout the book. A five-page guide explains how to effectively use the book to supplement in-class activities. "Concept and Reasoning" checks alert students to key concepts that they should grasp after reading a section. Case study examples illustrate key concepts about specific diseases, and each chapter ends with a summary of key concepts, self study questions and review, and questions that require in-depth thinking about the topic. A pronunciation guide on the inside of the book covers is a convenient reference for those often-confusing genus and species names. Lastly, "Concept Maps" are a great tool to foster student understanding of relationships among topics. Although the content encompasses the critical areas of microbiology at an appropriate entry level, several discrepancies occur between images and captions. In addition, one section of the online student resources (study quizzes) did not match up with the current edition's chapter titles. The list price of $174.95 is expensive for an entry-level course textbook.
Assessment: As an educator, I am excited to find textbooks written with students in mind, providing a means to keep them interested in the topic and help them integrate new concepts into previously covered material. This student-focused microbiology textbook will serve future healthcare professionals well.