Bacterial Disease Mechanisms: An Introduction to Cellular Microbiology / Edition 1

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This introductory textbook explores bacterial disease mechanisms and bacteria-host interactions. The central premise is that bacteria have evolved by means of manipulating normal host cell functions and overcoming host defense systems to ensure their survival. As well as offering a new perspective on the classical bacterial virulence mechanisms, this book outlines the new molecular techniques developed to unravel the complexity of bacteria-host interactions. Current research may lead not only to a better understanding of disease mechanisms, but also to new means of preventing and/or treating bacterial infections.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...the authors provide a comprehensive introduction to this exciting hybrid of disciplines..." ASM News

"...a welcome teaching tool for introducing students to this rapidly growing field.... this text offers a comprehensive look at the molecular mechanisms that allow bacterial pathogens to manipulate normal host cell functions for their own benefit.... the authors do an impressive job of providing an up-to-date view of the major concepts in the interactions between prokaryotic pathogens and their eukaryotic hosts.... Bacterial Disease Mechanisms is likely to become a mainstay for those who teach microbial pathogenesis as well as a useful starting point for researchers interested in acquainting themselves with concepts underpinning this exciting field." Cell become a mainstay..." Cell

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Thomas C Zahrt, Ph.D.(Medical College of Wisconsin)
Description: This is a new textbook that strives to describe the molecular and cellular interactions between pathogenic bacteria and the human host. Topics discussed include the major bacterial pathogens and the diseases they cause; methods for identifying and studying bacterial virulence genes; the host response to bacterial pathogenesis; and the methods used by bacterial pathogens to cause disease. The use of multiple teaching aids makes this book particularly useful for graduate students in the biological sciences.
Purpose: The purpose is to describe in detail the intimacy of the interactions that exist between bacteria and our own cells both in health and during human infection. These details are outlined from the viewpoint of a cellular microbiologist, a recent scientific discipline that is a fusion between microbiology, molecular biology and cell biology. Throughout the book, the authors focus on the central premise that both bacteria and their multicellular hosts have co-evolved molecular and cellular mechanisms to evade and overcome the offensive and defensive mechanisms employed by one another. Although the authors are successful in conveying their objectives, the general material covered in this book can be found in many current medical microbiology and immunology textbooks. However, the ability of the authors to concentrate the material and principally focus on aspects of bacterial-host interactions makes this book particularly useful for those learning about the complex interactions between ourselves and the bacteria that live with us.
Audience: This is a well-written book by three experts in the field of microbiology, molecular biology, and cell biology. As the authors suggest, this book will be useful as a core textbook for upper-level undergraduate or graduate students taking courses in microbiology or medical microbiology. However, it is likely to be too focused and complex for lower-level undergraduate students studying in these fields, or as a core textbook for medical students during their training in medical microbiology and immunology.
Features: The book focuses on various aspects of the interactions between bacteria and the human host. The first two chapters are devoted to covering many of the commonly encountered bacteria, the diseases they cause, and general aspects regarding the virulence determinants of these organisms. The third chapter describes in detail the current techniques utilized by investigators to study virulence mechanisms. Chapters 4, 5, and 6 introduce the reader to the host response to bacteria, and describe the various strategies used by the host to prevent or inhibit infection. Chapters 7 and 8 outline the mechanisms used by bacterial pathogens to adhere to and invade host tissues, two central activities required for disease elicitation in many pathogen organisms, while chapter 9 describes in detail an alternative mechanism utilized by pathogenic bacteria to cause disease in the host, production of bacterial toxins. Finally, chapters 10 and 11 describe some of the mechanisms used by bacteria to evade aspects of the host immune response, and where the field of cellular microbiology is going in the near future. Although this book does a good job of covering a substantial amount of current information in great detail, the organization of information within and between chapters is often disjointed and frequently makes the authors' overall intentions difficult to define. However, the use of multiple teaching aids in each chapter including the chapter outline, aims, concept check, and what's new, helps reinforce the authors' overall intent for the reader. The authors do a wonderful job of including relevant figures and illustrations throughout the entire book.
Assessment: This book is a nice addition to the newly-emerging field of cellular microbiology, and will make a useful resource for those studying general aspects of bacterial-host interactions.
From The Critics
This textbook discusses the interactions between bacteria and human cells, both in times of health and during infections. It proceeds from the premise that both bacteria and the multicellular hosts have co-evolved molecular and cellular mechanisms to evade and overcome one another's offensive and defensive mechanisms. From the standpoint of human bacterial disease, the book details the molecular and cellular interactions that occur between ourselves and the bacteria that live with us. It also introduces current techniques used to examine bacteria-host interactions. The authors teach microbiology at University College London. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

4 Stars! from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521796897
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 692
  • Product dimensions: 7.44 (w) x 9.69 (h) x 1.38 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Wilson is currently Professor of Microbiology in the Faculty of Clinical Sciences, University College London, and Head of the Department of Microbiology at the Eastman Dental Institute, University College London. He is the co-editor of Community Structure and Co-operation in Biofilms, 2000 (0521793025) and editor of Bacterial Adhesion to Host Tissues, 2001 (0521801079). His main research interests are bacterial virulence factors, biofilms and the development of new antimicrobial strategies.

Brian Henderson is Professor of Cell Biology and Head of the Cellular Microbiology Research Group at the Eastman Dental Institute, University College London. His research centres around cytokine biology and the interactions of bacteria with myeloid and lymphoid cells.

Rod McNab is Lecturer in Molecular Microbiology at the Eastman Dental Institute, University College London, and works on streptococcal adhesion and colonization factors, biofilms and bacterial cell-cell communication.

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Table of Contents

Preface; Abbreviations used; 1. An introduction to bacterial diseases; 2. Bacterial cell biology; 3. Molecular analysis of bacterial virulence mechanisms; 4. Communication in infection; 5. The mucosal surface: the front line of antibacterial defence; 6. Immune defences against bacteria; 7. Bacterial adhesion as a virulence mechanism; 8. Bacterial invasion as a virulence mechanism; 9. Bacterial exotoxins; 10. Bacterial evasion of host defence mechanisms; 11. Bacteria in human health and disease: the future?; Appendix A. Glossary of terms used; Appendix B. Brief descriptions of bacteria frequently mentioned; Index.

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