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Phages: Their Role in Bacterial Pathogenesis and Biotechnology

Editors: Matthew K. Waldor, David I. Friedman, Sankar L. Adhya
Content Type: Monograph
Format: Electronic, Hardcover
Publication Year: 2005

Category: Bacterial Pathogenesis; Microbial Genetics and Molecular Biology

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offers an up-to-date examination of phages, exploring their role in the biology and pathogenicity of specific pathogens as well as the application of phage biology to biotechnology. A compilation of new research and background material, this new volume will interest researchers and graduate students in the fields of phage biology, genetics, bacteriology, virology, molecular biology, evolutionary biology, and biochemistry.

Divided into three concise sections, the book opens with the exciting history of phage research, beginning with Felix d'Herelle's 1917 description of a “microbe” that was antagonistic to bacteria, which he termed a bacteriophage. The first section also covers general information that will familiarize readers with phage biology. The next section is an exploration of the role of phages in the biology and pathogenicity of specific infectious bacteria. The concluding section details the application of phages in technology, including comprehensive material on recombineering in prokaryote, polysaccharide-degrading phages, and the use of phage in therapy and detection of bacteria.

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Microbiology Today

25 June 2013

Bacteria and their phages are inextricably intertwined in a paradoxical love-hate relationship. Bacteria invest valuable resources in fighting off phage infection (restriction modification, phage exclusion, variable surface molecules), yet acquiring prophages can result in significant fitness benefit for bacterial growth in certain environments. This book brings together current knowledge of phage biology in some of the most common bacterial pathogens. Seven chapters describe how phages encoding virulence and toxin genes contribute directly to virulence of Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhimurium, vibrios, staphylococci, streptococci, Clostridium botulinum and Corynebacterium diphtheriae. An interesting twist is illustrated by the chapter on phages in bacterial vaginosis (BV) where it seems that a phage growth can suppress vaginal lactobacilli and this could permit BV causing agents to multiply. Not all major bacterial pathogens though seem to depend so obviously on phage-encoded virulence determinants; the chapters on mycobacteriophages, mycoplasma and listeria phages remind us of that. Appropriately, the initial six chapters of the book collectively provide a primer on the basic biology, evolutionary mechanisms and ecology of phages. The final four chapters describe the use of phage in various technological applications, mostly with an antibacterial flavour. This book has already become enormously useful to me for teaching advanced undergraduates and MSc students. It should be required reading for any researchers in the field of bacterial pathogenesis.

Society for General Microbiology: Microbiology Today

Reviewer: Maggie Smith, University of Aberdeen

Review Date: Unknown

Doody Enterprises

25 June 2013

At A Glance

Phages: Their Role in Bacterial Pathogenesis and Biotechnology offers an up-to-date examination of phages, exploring their role in the biology and pathogenicity of specific pathogens as well as the application of phage biology to biotechnology. A compilation of new research and background material, this new volume will interest research and graduate students in the fields of phage biology, genetics, bacteriology, virology, molecular biology, evolutionary biology, and biochemistry.

Description

This book brings together recent information on bacteriophages and pathogenicity. The first of its three sections provides background information and updates on general phage biology. The second focuses on specific bacteria and phages interactions, while the third section presents the applications of phage biology on biotechnology.

Purpose

The purpose is to provide updated information on bacteriophage biology. During this time of new information regarding the genomes of bacterial pathogens, this book brings together the research demonstrating how phages have influenced bacterial genomes.

Audience

This book is primarily directed toward scientists working in the area of phage biology and pathogenesis. This text provides researchers with current information on various areas of phage biology.

Features

Of the three sections, I found the second, on specific areas of current research, to be the most interesting. It discusses the influence of bacteriophages on pathogenesis of disease. These types of studies are valuable to understanding how to treat and prevent infections. Although I am familiar with the classic examples of phages associated with pathogens, I was impressed with the great impact of phages on the bacterial genome.

Assessment

This is a good book if you need updated information on phage biology. It will likely be used by researchers interested in this specific area. At $120, this is a big investment for a general microbiologist.

Doody Enterprises

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

Review Date: Unknown

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