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July 11, 1977

The Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease

Author Affiliations

University of Kentucky College of Medicine Lexington

JAMA. 1977;238(2):166. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280020070033

One of a series of monographs for students of medicine, this little book is an exciting, though somewhat expensive, contribution to the explication of the infectious process. Unlike most volumes on infectious disease, there is no formal taxonomic microbiology or immunology presented in the usual sense. Rather, Dr Mims has chosen to crystallize his discussion by the broader presentation of the interactions between infecting agent and host, alluding to microbiological and immunologic characteristics only as they serve to explain pathogenesis. By taking this approach, the dynamics of infectious disease becomes the main focus, rather than the specific infections. For example, when dealing with phagocytosis, bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa are considered together, their differences appearing only as the biological equations differ. This approach requires reasonable prior knowledge of medical microbiology and immunology but places such information in the stimulating context of the variations of the pathogenetic process.

Dr Mims proceeds