February 27, 1987

Bailey and Scott's Diagnostic Microbiology

Author Affiliations

The University of Chicago Medical Center

The University of Chicago Medical Center


by Sydney M. Finegold and Ellen Jo Baron, ed 7; 914 pp, with illus, $39.95, St Louis, CV Mosby Co, 1986.

JAMA. 1987;257(8):1112-1113. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03390080102049

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Although the seventh edition of this popular textbook bears the same title as previous editions, the organization and contents are different. Presumably, many of the changes are the work of a new coauthor, the seventh since this book originated almost half a century ago as a laboratory manual entitled Methods for Diagnostic Bacteriology. During this time, the text has evolved from a short, simple guide for isolating and identifying pathogenic bacteria in the clinical laboratory to the current version that covers not only the conventional laboratory aspects of microbial identification, but also nontraditional methods (monoclonal antibodies, DNA probes, and automation), microbial pathogenesis, epidemiology, and some aspects of laboratory administration (including an excellent discussion of diagnosis related groups and where responsibilities for cost-containment lie). The resulting, almost encyclopedic, coverage of the field is impressive in its breadth, but this tome is no longer the small, handy book that the bench technologist