Bacterial Disease Mechanisms: An Introduction to Cellular Microbiology, Michael Wilson, Rod McNab, and Brian Henderson. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K. Hardcover, ISBN 0-521-7950-9; paperback, ISBN 0-521-79689-0.

Why would a parasitologist be interested in the mechanisms of bacterial disease? Wilson et al. remind us that a significant fraction of our mass is actually microbial and that bacteria–human interactions span the entire range of parasitic relationships from benign commensalism to overt pathogenesis. Moreover, the molecular mechanisms of bacterial disease and defense will have many parallels and overlaps with those of traditional parasites. Bacterial pathogenesis is an old but increasingly active field—a recent scan of the Want Ads in Science showed that about 10% of the academic jobs were in this area. Even the most organismal- and ecological-based of us would do well to keep abreast of the astounding advances in this field.

This book would be an...

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