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Shanson DC. (£29.99.) Butterworth Heinemann, 1999. ISBN 0 7506 3110 4.
With the dramatic fall in professors of medical microbiology, together with the recommended reduction in didactic teaching of medical students, the requirement for a readable and affordable textbook assumes even more importance. Although the would be doctors of tomorrow do not necessarily see it like that—plenty of money for the pleasures of life, but none for books. David Shanson's Microbiology in Clinical Practice has been a recommended text for medical students throughout the UK since its launch in 1982. So what has changed since the first edition? New diseases and new pathogens have emerged such as Helicobacter pylori; hepatitis C, E, and G; Escherichia coli 0157; Bartonella; Chlamydia pneumoniae; and variant CJD—to name but a few. In addition to the new, we welcome back the old: diphtheria and tuberculosis. The ever ingenious bacteria appear to have the upper hand against the pharmaceutical chemist, and the global epidemic of AIDS marches ever onwards, ever confident into this new millennium. In an attempt to aid the would be Alexander Flemings of the future to climb out of their Petri dishes and discard the loop, an additional chapter entitled “Applications of molecular biology to clinical microbiology and infectious diseases” has been added. This highly readable textbook is recommended to medical students, MLSOs, infection control nurses, and general practitioners alike. Value for money at £29.99—all for the price of a few beers!