Medically Important Fungi: A Guide to Identification, Fifth Edition

Author: Davise H. Larone1
Affiliations: 1: Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, New York
Content Type: Reference
Format: Hardcover
Publication Year: 2011

Category: Fungi and Fungal Pathogenesis; Clinical Microbiology

MyBook is a cheap paperback edition of the original book and will be sold at uniform, low price.

Now in its Fifth Edition, the highly acclaimed continues to set the standard in its field. Clinical laboratories around the world depend on this for its superb illustrations of microscopic morphology that initiate step-by-step guidance along with textual descriptions, instructions on laboratory methods and on preparation and applications of useful media, and specific references for further information; all of which enable the user to approach the identification of medically important fungi with confidence. The unique organization of compares similar organisms side by side, using photomicrographs, exquisite line drawings, and comparative tables to illustrate critical characteristics and distinctions. The book avoids technical jargon in favor of clear, straightforward explanations that enable everyone—from novices to experienced lab technologists—to support best medical care with accurate identification of fungi.

begins with a helpful guide to using the book and then divides the process of identification into four sections. Part I discusses the direct microscopic examination of clinical pathology specimens, while Part II extensively covers the identification of individual species in culture. Part III—new to this edition—presents the basics of the molecular approach to fungal identification from classic methods to the latest techniques, including explanation of terminology used, amplification and sequence- and non-sequence-based methods, applications of DNA sequencing, and commercial platforms. Part IV carefully directs readers through essential laboratory procedures, staining methods, and media.

The book also features extensive color plates illustrating tissue reactions to fungal infection, characteristic fungal morphology both in stained tissue and as growing colonies, and concludes with an illustrated glossary, a newly expanded bibliography, and a list of useful websites.

  • Comprehensive update and revision of all material
  • Adds a section explaining molecular techniques used for fungal identification
  • Includes five new organisms plus updated information on all other organisms discussed in the book
  • Offers new laboratory procedures, media, color plates, tables, drawings, and photomicrographs
  • Introduces a new section containing useful websites
  • Provides an expanded bibliography

  • Enables readers to confidently identify fungi
  • Helps readers distinguish between fungi that display similar characteristics
  • Introduces readers to molecular methods used to identify fungi
  • Supports identification via color plates, line drawings, photomicrographs, and references to literature and websites
  • Sets forth safety precautions to protect the health of workers in the laboratory
  • Brings the book thoroughly up to date with all the latest nomenclature, procedures, and laboratory practices

Click here to see ASM's "Author Insights" interview with 's author Davise Larone.

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Microbe Magazine

19 March 2014

The 5th edition of Medically Important Fungi, a Guide to Identifıcation written by Davise Larone of Weill Cornell Medical Center and New York Presbyterian Hospital, is a refreshing contribution to the fıelds of medical mycology and clinical microbiology. This lucidly written book is used throughout the world as the essential textual authority for practitioners of clinical diagnostic mycology. There are several keys to the success of this time-honored book.

The book has been divided into four sections: Direct Microscopic Examination of Clinical Specimens; Identifıcation of Fungi in Culture; Basics of Molecular Methods for Fungal Identifıcation; and Laboratory Techniques. 

Larone’s innovative algorithmic system (“Guide to Identifıcation of Fungi in Culture”), which is based upon colonial and microscopic morphology and temperature, accurately permits identifıcation of most of the medically important fungi encountered in clinical microbiology laboratories worldwide. This algorithm, which has been fully updated in this edition with newly encountered pathogens and recent developments in nomenclature, was developed in response to a need in diagnostic laboratories for logical and easily comprehensible approaches to identifıcation of medically important yeasts and moulds.

The illustrations of the medically important fungi in this text are hand drawn by the author. Accompanied by parallel photomicrographs of the fungi, these illustrations are especially useful identifıcation of the moulds.The algorithm for identifıcation of the fungi contains the same fıgures as those in the body of the text. Accompanying the photomicrographs is a robust collection of color fıgures to help with identifıcation through colonial morphology.

The new edition expands the reader’s knowledge of emerging fungal pathogens, terminology, new diagnostic methods, and advances in molecular taxonomy. Every page in this text was carefully reviewed by Dr. Larone, who updated the text on nomenclature, pathogenicity, epidemiology, and diagnostic characteristics of each organism. The new edition reflects such developments in nomenclature, including changes of Absidia corymbifera to Leicthemia corymbifera, Scytalidium dimidiatum to Neoscytalidium dimidiatum, as well as revisions to the taxa of Pseudallescheria spp. and Scedosporium spp. The nine most commonly encountered species of Aspergillus species are each accorded a separate page.

The advent of important advances in molecular taxonomy and identifıcation has expanded the range of diagnostic methods available in clinical medical laboratories. The fıfth edition therefore adds a new section entitled “Basics of Molecular Methods for Fungal Identifıcation,” which introduces the reader to principles and terminology of this expanding area.

In summary, the fıfth edition of Medically Important Fungi is a valuable resource for clinical microbiology laboratories, reference medical mycology laboratories, and students of this dynamic fıeld. Medically Important Fungi is a time-honored resource in the fıeld of medical mycology that has had a profound effect on clinical microbiology laboratories.

Microbe Magazine

Reviewer: Thomas J. Walsh, Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York, N.Y.

Review Date: March 2014

Doody Enterprises

22 September 2013

Designed for use in clinical laboratories to assist in the identification of clinical fungi, this book uses a unique format that enables laboratory technologists to compare and distinguish fungi by using the detailed drawings and descriptions. This update includes a section on molecular theory identification and adds more fungi species with new names for some of them.

The intent is to make identification of fungi logical, understandable, and thus more enjoyable. Along the way, technologists will become more confident and broaden their knowledge base. This is a must]have reference for clinical laboratories. Previous editions of this book helped me develop into the expert mycologist in my job.

The step-by-step approach guides students and technologists to correctly identify fungi by comparing microscopic structures and colony characteristics, with detailed drawings of several fungi with similar appearances. A referral to a page with additional information helps confirm identification. Anyone interested in fungi can use this book, from clinical mycologists to medical students, dermatologists, infectious disease doctors, and pathologists.

Among the many helpful features is a section describing diseases and disease processes involving various fungi infections. The book stresses the importance of proper specimen collection and describes what specimens to submit in suspected fungal infections. It discusses the use of various stains in microscopic examination for fungi and fungal elements. There are lovely color plates of tissue sections with fungal involvement and that illustrate colony morphology of fungi. How to best recover fungi, use of media, growth requirements, special laboratory techniques, all the tricks of the trade are explained in detail. The importance of handling and working safely with fungi is emphasized. The glossary of terms used to discussed fungi and their structures is an important feature and educational tool. Ideally, I would have liked this book to include more drug therapy applications for physicians who call the laboratory. Also, we still run across the occasional organism not mentioned in this book, especially
Aspergillus species.

This book is a must for all clinical microbiology laboratories. It's filled with valuable laboratory procedures and techniques and it's easy to understand and use, with wonderful detailed drawings, charts, and color plates. Users can become confident experts in mycology. In this edition, I most appreciated the molecular section, since I lacked knowledge in that area.

Weighted Numerical Score: 95 ‐ 4 Stars!

Doody Enterprises

Reviewer: Laura Ann Gaydess, BS (University of Kansas Hospital)

Review Date: February 2012

©Doody’s Review Service

Microbiology Today

22 September 2013

There is a lot of high-level competition for this book - most notably the revised Atlas of Clinical Fungi by de Hoog and colleagues, which is more comprehensive in almost all aspects. But there is an aspect by which this book passes the Goldilocks test - it is neither too big, nor too small - perhaps it is just about right, at least for the beginner. The organization is logical and straightforward, the line drawings are reasonable (but I have seen better) and for me it is an irritation that the light micrographs do not have any scale bars and are often of a rather poor quality. The book also contains a chapter on filamentous bacteria which is out of place. Overall, this is a good place to start, but the aficionado will want to look beyond its pages.

Society for General Microbiology: Microbiology Today

Reviewer: Neil Gow, University of Aberdeen

Review Date: May 2012

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