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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Eric R. Vimr, PhD (University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine)
Description: This is a collection of invited review articles drawn from presenters at the International Symposium on Virulence Mechanisms of Bacterial Pathogens. This edition contains reviews ranging from bacterial adherence and internalization to host strategies for overcoming bacterial virulence mechanisms. Many of the chapters are authored by recognized authorities in their specialties.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide researchers in the field of bacterial pathogenesis with reviews covering a range of molecular mechanisms relating to the disease process.
Audience: Because this field continues to rapidly expand, well-written articles on the molecular biology of pathogen-host interactions are important in the training of graduate students and continuing education of senior researchers wishing to enter the field and those wanting to stay current in this subject.
Features: This volume is a second edition, but it covers different topics from the one published after the 1988 meeting. The current edition generally meets the editors' objective of publishing wide ranging reviews that are not located elsewhere. However, this book does not cover every or even the most important subjects in bacterial pathogenesis, but it is unlikely that any single volume could. There are other books available covering some of the neglected areas. However, I was disappointed by the lack of in-depth reviews on polysaccharide virulence factors, especially when compared to the overemphasis of iron-acquisition mechanisms.
Assessment: The book is assembled well and follows some form of linearity moving from bacterial colonization to survival to host strategies for countering pathogens. The figures and tables are in black-and-white. An excellent index can be found in back. Because this was meant as a companion to the first edition, it is too bad it did not include a table of contents and index to that previous edition. The book is reasonably priced, but it might best be used as a vehicle for entry into the primary literature. With a few exceptions, the articles are not sufficiently in depth to warrant individuals purchasing this volume, although every library should own a copy.