Medical Microbiology: with STUDENT CONSULT Access
ASM News called the 4th Edition of Dr. Murrays best-selling book the most colorful and fun text to read in medical microbiology. Now its back in an updated New Editionand its as succinct, user-friendly, and authoritative as ever. Readers will continue to enjoy its lucid discussions of how microbes cause disease in humans. Expert coverage of basic principles, the immune response, laboratory diagnosis, bacteriology, virology, mycology, and parasitology ensures they understand all the facts vital to the practice of medicine today. More than 550 brilliant full-color images make complex information easy to understand and illustrate the appearance of disease.
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Washington Univ., St. Louis, MO. Microbiology textbook for medical students. Color and halftone illustrations. Previous edition: c1994. Softcover. DNLM: Microbiology. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author(s)
Patrick R. Murray, PhD, Chief, Microbiology Service, Department of Laboratory Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland; Michael A. Pfaller, MD, Professor, Department of Pathology, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA; and Ken S. Rosenthal, PhD, Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Northwestern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, Rootstown, OH
How pathogens cause disease, February 15, 2003
The first thing to understand about this book is that it is a textbook and a difficult one. The difficulty for the beginning student or general reader is not a fault of the authors. Rather it is because medical microbiology itself is a daunting subject full of organisms that can only be seen fuzzily with an electron microscope, if at all, organisms involved in processes and behaviors that are foreign to our everyday experience. Add the fact that most of the material covered here is not part of a non-specialist curriculum either in high school or college, and effectively speaking the untrained reader is starting from scratch.
Well, why do that? First of all, because the material itself–how viruses, bacteria, fungi, and other infectious organisms enter the body, replicate, and cause disease–is fascinating and of immediate relevance to our lives. Second because (to my knowledge) there is little or nothing else available to the general reader that goes beyond a sketchy introduction to the subject. One is forced to read a text book. Fortunately this is a good one and it is thorough.
The text covers the range of infectious disease from viruses to tapeworms. The amount of technical information presented is daunting, and the sheer expanse of terminology a challenge (why is there no glossary?). The text is lavishly illustrated with photos and electron micrographs of the pathogens, as well as numerous schematic drawings showing how microorganisms cause disease, how they replicate, their chemical structure, their morphology, etc.
The instructional schematic drawings I found less valuable than the electron micrographs, but I suspect for the student of microbiology it might be the other way around.
What you’ll get out of this handsome book depends on how much time and energy you are able to devote to it. I started reading this in the hope that I would, perhaps by osmosis, pick up some feel for life at the micron level, and I did. Obviously if I had been able to study the text with the help of an instructor, I would have learned a lot more.