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Introduction to Microbiology : What Makes a Pathogen?, Paperback Book

Introduction to Microbiology : What Makes a Pathogen? Paperback


The last 30 years has seen a transformation of our understanding of microorganisms, which has arisen from the development of easily used molecular biology tools and the rapid pace of sequencing of the genomes of a large number of microorganisms.

This development precipitated not only major advances in our appreciation of microbial diversity but has underpinned our increased understanding of the pathogenicity.

In the hectic pursuit of molecular detail, the core underpinning in terms of the verities of microbial life has sometimes been lost.

This book seeks to address that specific issue, while not ignoring the amazing developments of the last 30 years.

This book will also provide a good basis for understanding pathogenicity, antibiotic treatments and resistance to these drugs, as well as the value of vaccination.

It is intended that the book will be both short and informative, so that it can be read as a preliminary to a deeper investigation of the topics through the professional scientific literature. The book will describe in accessible terms the core structures, biochemistry and genetics of pathogenic bacteria, and fungi.

Apart from the introductory chapter dealing with the diversity of microorganisms it is not intended to deal extensively with viruses and protozoa nor will the immune system be dealt with exhaustively (although some coverage of the latter is deemed essential and thus will be explained).

The introduction will also deal with the diversity of habitats in which microorganisms are found and outline their contribution to that life processes.

The book will explain our current understanding of the microbial structure and cell biology and will seek to place this in the context of the variations in organisms that differentiate the harmless organism are potential pathogens.

Cell metabolism, in particular the diversity of metabolic patterns surrounding the core of common processes such as the assimilation of carbon, nitrogen, sulphur and phosphorus will be presented.

Mechanisms for energy production allied to the biosynthesis of cell material will be presented.

Genome stability, mutations and the generation of diversity through horizontal gene transfer will be discussed.

Antibiotic resistance mechanisms will be discussed, as will the problems of the spread of drug resistance and potential mechanisms for combatting this problem.

The ultimate aim of the book is to provide the reader with a good foundation in biology of microbial pathogens that can be complemented by reading more advanced textbooks or the scientific reviews that are now extensively available.