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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Rebecca T. Horvat, PhD, D (ABMM)(University of Kansas Medical Center)
Description: As in the past editions, this fifth edition of a popular microbiology textbook brings students into the world of microorganisms and the human host responses to these invaders. It is an enjoyable update of a favorite textbook.
Purpose: It is carefully designed as a comprehensive textbook for students being introduced to medical microbiology for the first time. The authors have been successful in accomplishing this primary goal.
Audience: This is a student-oriented textbook that can be used as the major source for class lectures. Many of the authors are veterans who have taught this material and bring their experience to the design of the book.
Features: An introduction to diseases caused by infectious agents and to the basics of the character of infectious agents begins the book. This is followed by several chapters that describe the immune reaction to these infectious agents, sterilization, control of infections with anti-infective drugs, and how they are detected in a diagnostic laboratory. These chapters set the stage for the rest of the book, which describes the various infectious agents that cause disease in humans. Starting with viruses and moving through to bacteria, fungi, and parasites, these chapters describe how the agents cause disease and how the infections are detected and treated. One of the remarkable characteristics of this book is the high quality of the abundant figures. Another nice touch is that several chapters begin with interesting quotes from individuals as diverse as Frank Zappa, Charles Dickens, and Lucretius.
Assessment: This will continue to be a popular textbook, primarily due to the well-designed figures and pictures in all chapters. It is one of the better textbooks I have seen for teaching the basics of medical microbiology.