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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Rebecca T. Horvat, PhD, D (ABMM)(University of Kansas Medical Center)
Description: This basic overview of virology for undergraduate students covers topics from the various viral structures, the attachment of viruses to host cells, the great variety of viral genomes, and the effect of viruses on host cells and viral vaccine development.
Purpose: This book is designed for students who have not had extensive exposure to virus biology. This type of solid foundation is critical to introducing young scientists to the world of microorganisms.
Audience: It is primarily written for undergraduate university/college students. It does not have the depth for an advanced virology course, but it provides a very good starting point which is vital to establishing a knowledge base.
Features: The book starts with the importance of viruses to life on earth. This is followed by a methods section so that the student will understand how viruses are investigated in a research laboratory. The next several chapters go into specific biochemical detail on the variety of viral life cycles, the replication of viral particles, and host recognition and attachment. The diagrams are well designed and enhance the text, helping students understand these difficult concepts. The remaining chapters cover the major human viral pathogens in greater detail. Additional interesting chapters cover bacterial phages, the evolution of viruses, antiviral therapy, and vaccines. Each chapter begins with a summary ends with learning expectations. A helpful feature is a section at the end of the book called "Virologist's vocabulary," which gives clear definitions of commonly used terms.
Assessment: This is one of the best undergraduate textbooks specifically for virology that I have reviewed. I especially appreciate the well designed figures and diagrams. The book is clearly written and it would be enjoyable to use for teaching.