Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor:
Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA;
Journal Review Editor: Brenda L. Seago, MLS, MA, Medical College of Virginia
Campus, Virginia Commonwealth University.
A few years ago it was my duty to give the annual, one-hour lecture
to the second-year medical students on “The Normal Flora.” Not
only was this the only activity during the microbiology course devoted to
the 1.25 kg, 1014 microbial cells inhabiting our bodies, it was
probably unique in the entire 4-year curriculum. Alas, because of either my
uninspired recitation of organisms or the pressure of curriculum revisions,
even that hour soon disappeared.
Times have changed, and this outstanding textbook heralds a holistic
approach to microbiology. In this remarkable single-authored text, Professor
Wilson (University College, London, England) describes the human ecological
system, inhabited by 10 times as many microbial cells as human cells, all
living in various states of commensalism, synergism, mutualism, competition,
predation, parasitism, or simply neutral tolerance.
Haburchak DR. Medical Microbiology. JAMA. 2005;293(12):1521-1525. doi:10.1001/jama.293.12.1522