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November 13, 1991

Topley and Wilson's Principles of Bacteriology, Virology and Immunity, vol 1: General Bacteriology and Immunity

Author Affiliations

University of Arizona Tucson

University of Arizona Tucson


edited by A. H. Linton and Heather M. Dick, 8th ed, 468 pp, with illus, ISBN 1-55664-288-1; vol 2: Systemic Bacteriology, edited by M. T. Parker and Brian T. Duerden, 8th ed, 709 pp, with illus, ISBN 1-55664-290-3; vol 3: Bacterial Diseases, edited by Geoffrey R. Smith and Charles S. F. Easmon, 8th ed, 727 pp, with illus, ISBN 1-55664-291-1; vol 4: Virology, edited by L. H. Collier and Morag C. Timbury, 8th ed, 719 pp, with illus, ISBN 1-55664-292-X; vol 5: Cumulative Index, edited by M. T. Parker and L. H. Collier, 8th ed, 113 pp, ISBN 1-55664-293-8; $595/5 vol set, Philadelphia, Pa, BC Decker Inc; St Louis, Mo, Mosby-Year Book, distributor, 1990.

JAMA. 1991;266(18):2621. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03470180125047

For over half a century, the appearance of a new edition of the British classic Topley and Wilson's Principles of Bacteriology, Virology and Immunity has been a major event for microbiologists on both sides of the Atlantic. Topley and Wilson's text has always embodied depth, accuracy, practical experience, and historical perspective in a way that sets it apart from other books in the field.

It was not until the seventh edition (1983) that this text gave way to the inevitable multiauthor format, although the fifth and sixth editions by Wilson and Miles acknowledged "the help of" a small group including one of the current general editors, M. Tom Parker. The eighth edition has 128 contributors but follows the same organization as earlier editions, with separate sections (now volumes) devoted to general microbiology and immunology, systematic bacteriology, bacterial diseases, and virology (not reviewed here). A new, largerpage and -type format makes