08 August 2017 article
Human Parasites: Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention
Written by H. Mehlhorn
Springer International Publishing (2016)
£48.99 ISBN 978-3319328010
The author has very concisely covered parasitology in a handy-sized book, although there are some grammatical errors due to it being transcribed from German.
Its sections are clearly laid out with each parasite being broken down into smaller parts, making it easier for the reader to refer to. I particularly enjoyed the option of being able to find studies from recent papers in the further reading section after each parasite. However, the book lacks pictures; there is a lot of text for which a picture could have been used to keep the reader interested and to give an example. This is especially the case for malaria, where each microscopic stage could have been captured to give the book a balance of text and pictures where appropriate.
There was a lack of detail for laboratory diagnosis, which was disappointing as, in a concise book such as this, it would have made an interesting read and quick referral. Overall, I enjoyed the layout of the book and shall use it to refer back to when I need to.
Hospital for Tropical Diseases and HSL Analytics LLP
The below reviews are published online in addition to those in the print or PDF copy of this issue of Microbiology Today.
Bacillus: Cellular and Molecular Biology (3rd edition)
Edited by P. L. Graumann
Caister Academic Press (2017)
£199 ISBN 978-1910190579
This book, in its third edition, is valuable in underpinning current understanding of the molecular workings of the bacterium Bacillus subtilis, which serves as a good model for most bacteria. Building on the previous editions of the book, with additional content, the structure is logical and easy to follow, with a good range of supportive references and links for further provision. The main body of the chapters give a very detailed view of current knowledge of B. subtilis (with insights from E. coli as another model organism) from a molecular microbiology perspective. It is split into distinct sections, starting with replication and DNA damage repair, through to molecular management, protein, membrane and cell wall regulation, and behavioural mechanisms. A one-stop shop for a huge range of Bacillus-focused molecular biology.
Throughout the book, the authors relate to and give examples of other bacteria that share analogous molecular mechanisms, but overall, the depth of content can be a bit disconcerting for more junior readers as it assumes a moderate level of prior molecular biology knowledge. However, it still provides good comprehensive coverage of basic and more advanced molecular workings of Bacillus. It is clearly a reference book for those with an interest in the molecular biology of bacteria, but does lack a casualness that would make reading easier for students. Still, the figures and tables are clear and concise, providing great visual supporting aids for the detailed text. Overall, a very detailed but useful overview book.
Molecular Virology of Human Pathogenic Viruses
Written by W. Ryu
Academic Press (2016)
£48.99 ISBN 978-0128008386
Divided into six parts, this book presents the basic principles of virology (structure, classification, replication, diagnosis and immune response), DNA viruses, RNA viruses, reverse-transcribing viruses, non-viral infectious agents and viral diseases, and, as the title indicates, focuses on the molecular aspects of viruses infecting humans. At the end of each chapter there is a summary of key points, study questions and examples of recommended reading. The book is set at postgraduate/postdoctoral level, but it is also likely to be of interest to enthusiastic undergraduates as well. I was disappointed by a few things about the book. Firstly, I was surprised by the absence of a mention of Zika virus in the chapter on newly-emerging viruses. Secondly, that the section entitled ‘Viruses and Disease’ only presents HIV & AIDS, hepatitis and tumour viruses, which is surprising because of the contribution viruses make in causing respiratory disease, gastroenteritis and exanthema. Finally, I was surprised that nucleic acid-based vaccines were not mentioned and that the section entitled ‘New Concept of Antivirals’ didn’t include molecular-based technologies such as RNAi and more-recently, CRISPR-Cas9, as potential means of treating and curing particularly challenging infections such as HIV. Having mentioned my disappointments, this book is worth the £48.99 price tag considering the wealth of information it contains. It may not quite include the level of detail of some other molecular virology texts in the bookshops but in my opinion it is much better value for money, making the details much more accessible to those on a more limited budget.