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Evolutionary Biology of Bacterial and Fungal Pathogens

Editors: Fernando Baquero1, César Nombela2, Gail H. Cassell3, José A. Gutiérrez-Fuentes4
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Affiliations: 1: Department of Microbiology, Ramón y Cajal University Hospital and Laboratory for Microbial Evolution, Center for Astrobiology (CAB-INTA-CSIC), Madrid, Spain; 2: Department of Microbiology II, School of Pharmacy, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain; 3: Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis, Indiana; 4: Fundación Lilly, Madrid, Spain
Content Type: Monograph
Format: Hardcover, Electronic
Publication Year: 2008

Category: Fungi and Fungal Pathogenesis; Bacterial Pathogenesis

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This innovative volume introduces clinical microbiologists, infectious disease specialists, epidemiologists, medical professionals, and public health researchers to the importance and influence of evolutionary outcomes. Humans experience countless interactions with the microbial world; our biology is intertwined with the biology of microbes; we co-evolve with them. Understanding this evolutionary reality provides a powerful tool to integrate and synthesize a huge amount of heterogeneous information from a variety of fields studying human biology.

Written by an international team of distinguished researchers and practitioners, the volume’s 49 chapters cover the relationship between microbial evolution and human biology from many perspectives. The first section illustrates the evolutionary biology of microbial-human interactions, considering the effect of human-driven changes. The second section analyzes evolutionary genetics involved in microbial variation and adaptation, from microbial genome to mobile elements as plasmids or integrons. The third section deals with evolutionary microbial responses to antibiotics, the major anthropogenic factor altering our interactions with microbes. Finally, the last three sections systematically analyze the evolution of pathogenesis in gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria, and fungi. These chapters convey the impact of evolution on microbe-human interactions, and how that influences infectious diseases. This information will stimulate an evolutionary orientation in the daily interpretation of facts that are observed in the laboratory and the hospital.

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Doody Enterprises

19 June 2013

At A Glance

This innovative volume introduces clinical microbiologists, infectious disease specialists, epidemiologists, medical professionals, and public health researchers to the importance and influence of evolutionary outcomes. Humans experience countless interactions with the microbial world; our biology is intertwined with the biology of microbes; we co-evolve with them. Understanding this evolutionary reality provides a powerful tool to integrate and synthesize a huge amount of heterogeneous information from a variety of fields studying human biology. Written by an international team of distinguished researchers and practitioners, the volume's 49 chapters cover the relationship between microbial evolution and human biology from many perspectives. The first section illustrates the evolutionary biology of microbial-human interactions, considering the effect of human-driven changes. The second section analyzes evolutionary genetics involved in microbial variation and adaptation, from microbial genome to mobile elements as plasmids or integrons. The third section deals with evolutionary microbial responses to antibiotics, the major anthropogenic factor altering our interactions with microbes. Finally, the last three sections systematically analyze the evolution of pathogenesis in gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria, and fungi. These chapters convey the impact of evolution on microbe-human interactions, and how that influences infectious diseases. This information will stimulate an evolutionary orientation in the daily interpretation of facts that are observed in the laboratory and the hospital.

Description

This unique book starts out with the statement "All microbiology is environmental microbiology." It then spells out the science that convincingly shows that pathogenic bacteria have evolved in numerous ways to take advantage of the human environment in order to survive.

Purpose

The editors' purpose is to "introduce evolutionary thinking to clinical microbiologists, infectious disease specialists" as well as others involved in healthcare. This is an exceptional purpose and the examples are very compelling. The information in this book will certainly lead to further evaluation of the pressures on microorganisms to evolve into pathogens.

Audience

This could be used to teach any type of student entering the fields of medicine and drug discovery. It is written at a level that is easy to follow for those with some background in science. It would be most appropriate for individuals in the fields of microbiology and infectious diseases. It would be of interest in the study of agents that affect humans as well as other animals. The authors are well known in their fields and have contributed valuable insights into the study of microbial pathogen evolution.

Features

The book is divided into six sections that focus on the microbial-host interaction, the microbial genetic of evolution, drug resistance, pathogenicity evolution of gram negative and gram positive bacteria and fungi. The chapters are well researched and organized in a way that leads the reader to the conclusions that natural selection continues to drive the development of new pathogens. Changes in human society lead to new opportunities for microorganisms. This fascinating dance has been occurring at a microscopic level for eons, and the use of modern genetic tools has allowed insight into the long history of microbial evolution. This information will be useful in developing vaccines and drugs to combat agents of disease in humans and animals. A helpful feature is the detailed key word index of evolutionary biology terms at the end of the book.

Assessment

This is the first book I have read that shows so clearly how bacteria evolved into pathogens and then into antibiotic resistant pathogens. I found it interesting and it will likely become a valuable resource.

Doody Enterprises

Reviewer: Rebecca Horvat, PhD, D(ABMM) (University of Kansas Medical Center)

Review Date: Unknown

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