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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Kristina Georgakas, MT (ASCP)(Dynacare Laboratories)
Description: This introduction to medical microbiology emphasizes the basic principles of the field, including classification, morphology, and structure of organisms. It then provides a comprehensive, yet brief overview of laboratory diagnosis of disease along with descriptions of specific organisms and the diseases they cause. The previous edition was published in 1990.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a "foundation of knowledge" that will help the reader understand microbes and the diseases they cause. This is a useful goal since understanding the microbial world is quite complex and always evolving. The book meets this objective in an easy to follow and well-organized manner.
Audience: The target audience is medical students and infectious disease fellows as well as students pursuing degrees in laboratory science. The authors are keenly aware of the complexity of this field and have worked hard to provide the most important aspects in a clear and concise manner, using summary tables, pictures, and case studies.
Features: This book provides a review of bacterial classification, morphology, structure, and metabolism. It also covers viruses, fungi, and parasites, although less extensively. There is also a section dedicated to host responses to microbial attack. The chapters on specific organisms provide excellent overviews of each organism or group of organisms, the diseases they cause, and their laboratory diagnosis. The information is well organized, current, and does not go into so much detail that the student gets lost. The tables, summary boxes, and case studies/questions provide excellent tools for students to grasp the important concepts presented in each chapter.
Assessment: This book should be useful to its target audience, providing a wide range of information on the complex field of medical microbiology. It should be of value to a broad range of students in the medical and laboratory science fields. It can also be useful as a reference for students continuing in their particular fields.