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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Rebecca T. Horvat, PhD, D (ABMM)(University of Kansas Medical Center)
Description: This is the fourth edition of a classic medical student textbook that covers infectious agents as well as the human immune system response to these infections. Since the last edition was published in 2004, there have been a number of new issues in infectious disease, including the identification of new infectious agents as well as antibiotics used to treat them. This new information is crucial to understanding the changing nature of microorganisms and how this affects the human host.
Purpose: This book was specifically designed as a textbook for medical students. The intent is to create a comprehensive resource that includes the basic science principles of infectious agents as well as the systemic approach. As with past editions, this is an excellent textbook for teaching these principles.
Audience: It is directed at second year medical students, but would serve as a good reference for residents and physicians in practice. The authors have been involved in previous editions and continue to create an excellent book.
Features: This comprehensive textbook covers all known infectious agents from bacteria and viruses to parasites as diverse as malaria and worms as well as arthropods. It also explains the unique pathogens known as prions. Each subject is well organized and starts with the basic scientific information about each agent. A number of unique details are included in the chapters such as a "conflicts" section that explains unique problems with pathogens that are critical to understanding the disease. Each chapter has a boxed area at the end that highlights the key facts covered in that chapter and how they may be related to other infectious agents. Another unique feature is the section entitled "Lessons in Microbiology" in some chapters. These sections provide a unique historical perspective on a disease, the epidemiology of a disease, or special considerations regarding a host and a specific agent of disease.
Assessment: This classic textbook covers the basic science, epidemiology of, and treatment for infectious disease. Although intended for medical students, it is useful for any medical professional needing a good textbook in basic microbiology and infectious disease.