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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Thomas M. Gallagher, PhD (Loyola University Medical Center)
Description: This book contains essential reference information on all viruses currently known and provides a basis for naming and classifying these viruses. It is the sixth report of its kind compiled by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV).
Purpose: The purpose is to provide an objective and pragmatic system for classifying and characterizing the viruses. The work represents a consensus system agreed on by preeminent investigators in the field. Reports by the ICTV are increasingly relevant to the discipline because virologists are now able to recognize broad common characteristics among many different virus families.
Audience: This book is useful for both students and practitioners of virology because it both describes the viruses and sorts them into an internationally recognized framework. The committee of authors comprise the current leaders in the field, and they write careful, thorough reviews of the viruses.
Features: For each virus family there are about two pertinent illustrations; references are restricted to those articles considered best at aiding classification. The book is difficult to navigate from the table of contents, but any virus can be accessed from the index.
Assessment: This book provides an excellent overview of virus taxonomy and also presents data on individual viruses. It is essential for any laboratory engaged in virus research as well as for any instructor of virology. This edition is especially attractive because it presents previously unavailable detail on virus structure and function.