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March 20, 1981

Zinsser Microbiology

JAMA. 1981;245(11):1170. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03310360056032

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The 17th edition of Zinsser Microbiology is an extensive volume divided into seven sections, several of which encompass enough material to stand alone as separate texts.

The first section, "Bacterial Physiology," covers bacterial morphology, metabolism, genetics, and control (chemotherapeutic agents, sterilization, and disinfection). The chapters provide a good basic explanation of bacterial biology and an intensive review of energy metabolism, with particular attention paid to uncommon pathways used by some bacterial species. The discussion of genetics balances nicely experimental findings with exposition to explain logically DNA behavior. On the whole, it presents all the bacterial genetics information that a medical student interested in bacteriology needs for a good understanding of current thought in the field.

Section 2, "Immunology," has been extensively revised and updated. Again, the authors use pertinent experimental data to provide a comprehensive explanation of fundamental humoral and cellular immunity. This is interspersed with a good amount of