Oral Microbiology and Immunology, Second Edition

Editors: Richard J. Lamont1, George N. Hajishengallis2, Howard F. Jenkinson3
Affiliations: 1: Center for Oral Health and Systemic Disease, University of Louisville School of Dentistry, Louisville, Kentucky; 2: Department of Microbiology, School of Dental Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; 3: School of Oral and Dental Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom
Content Type: Textbook
Format: Paperback
Publication Year: 2014

Category: Best-Selling Textbook; Clinical Microbiology

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In the second edition of best-selling textbook , an international panel of editors presents an in-depth, comprehensive understanding of the oral ecosystem and its role in human health and disease. Written specifically for dental students, dental practitioners, and healthcare professionals, cohesively details the ecology, virulence, molecular biology, and immunogenicity of oral bacteria, viruses, and fungi and examines their interfaces with host cells and secretions.

This new edition addresses the technological and conceptual advances that have increased our understanding of the etiology of oral diseases and the nature of pathogenic mechanisms and the host response, including:

  • Genome sequencing of a bacterium or a community of bacteria.
  • Knockout mice deficient in specific components of both the innate and adaptive immune systems.
  • High-resolution and 3D imaging techniques of communities growing in biofilms and the intimate interactions between microbes and host cells.

“The editors of the second edition are eminent players in oral microbiology, molecular genetics, and immunology and have invited several young investigators to contribute and upgrade chapters from the first edition. The second edition is a significant improvement, providing detailed current information on a breadth of topics, including molecular techniques for bacterial identification, population genetics of oral bacteria, infection-driven oral diseases, and control of oral diseases.”

—Dr. Paul Kolenbrander, Oral Infection and Immunity Branch, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health (retired)

“This textbook is an easy read and makes the information clear for student comprehension. The fact that “Key Points” are highlighted at the end of each chapter really drives home and summarizes many of the pertinent concepts. The tables, figures, graphics, etc., help to support the information disseminated to the students.”

—Donna Catapano, CDA, RDH, MA, DHSc(c); Associate Professor of Health Science, Briarcliffe College

For more on the book and information on requesting an examination copy please visit http://www.asmscience.org/instructors

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Primary Dental Journal

31 July 2014

This comprehensive book is a valuable addition to the oral microbiology and immunology literature. It is edited by three leaders in the field, with contributions from prominent names in microbiology and immunology research. As such, they offer valuable insights into cutting edge themes in oral biosciences.

The content in this book flows from the basic microbiology and immunology needed in the foundation stages of undergraduate dental studies, to the more advanced concepts and recent developments in oral bioscience vital to postgraduate research students. Throughout the text, the authors describe the biology of the microorganisms pertinent to both oral health and disease; they elaborate on the key processes in the acquisition and development of the normal oral microbiota and the classification and identification of oral microorganisms. They then relate this to the protective mechanisms of the local host immune response. Furthermore, the book highlights clinically relevant oral pathogens (bacteria, viruses and fungi), and the mechanisms involved in development of significant, infection-driven oral diseases. It also details novel diagnostic procedures and management options for diseases encountered in every day clinical practice.

This book contains information useful to clinicians and nonclinical researchers alike. For clinicians, the book provides relevant content to aid continuing professional development throughout their career, and to postgraduate students working in the field of oral biosciences, there is a wealth of information on advanced, up-to-the-minute molecular laboratory techniques, theories and practices.

Examining the interplay between oral microbiota and systemic diseases, the book explores the different hypotheses proposed in the constantly evolving literature. In addition, it emphasises the importance of oral bioscience research in the fight against oral diseases, including immunological interventions and antibiotic resistance in the 21st century.

Despite contributions from many authors, the writing style remains consistent throughout the book. At the end of each chapter, key points are summarised for easy review and revision, and the reader is directed to the relevant literature for further elaboration. Within the text, there are useful illustrations to explain complicated processes or principles; however, there are large sections of text with little or no illustration. This is particularly evident in the ‘infection driven oral diseases’ section. Whilst it is not designed to address diagnosis, the book may benefit from the inclusion of such images, along with the microorganisms that cause them, in both laboratory and clinical settings, to help readers understand these important concepts in oral diseases.

The book amply covers a subject area that is very important for every clinician and researcher in the field of oral sciences. It provides a clear and comprehensive coverage of a complex subject, setting out the current understanding of the microbiological and immunological basis of oral diseases. These diseases are a significant burden on healthcare provision worldwide and represent great societal challenges. This book should serve as a robust guide for researchers studying the mechanisms of these diseases in an aim to discover novel therapeutic interventions against them.

Primary Dental Journal

Vol 3, N o 3, Page 19

Reviewers: Svetislav Zaric (BDS, MSc, PhD, AFHEA), Associate Professor in Biomedical Sciences and Louise Belfield (BSc, PhD),Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences at the Peninsula Dental School, Plymouth University

Review Date: August 2014

 Microbiology Today

14 July 2014

This book has been written specifically for dental students, dental practitioners, and healthcare professionals and researchers working in the discipline of oral microbiology and immunology. The subject matter is divided in three broad sections that provide logical progression through the major areas: 1) general principles of oral microbiology (including genetics, applied molecular biology and immunology), 2) infection-driven oral diseases, and finally 3) control of oral diseases (including immunological intervention, antibiotics and the treatment of infectious diseases, and infection control in dentistry).

The book is academically written and the content is relevant and presented in an interesting way. There are key points at the end of each chapter, but the text would benefit from additional use of images/illustrations in some sections to explain key concepts and theories in more detail.

The book will serve as an important reference resource for undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as early career research investigators. Those in the discipline should consult this extensive and well-informed book as an accompaniment to core texts.

Microbiology Today - Society for General Microbiology

Volume 41:2; Page 92

Reviewer: Sladjana Malic, Manchester Metropolitan University

Review Date: May 2014

Microbe Magazine

13 June 2014

Interest in oral microbiology and immunology has signifıcantly increased in recent years. A brief search in the PubMed database (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov) using keywords such as “oral infectious diseases,” “oral microbiology/immunology,” oral biofılm/microbial communities,” and “oral microbiome/microbiota” revealed a steady increase in publications over the years.  Research in oral microbiology started with the important observation of oral bacteria scraped from teeth by Antonie van Leeuwenhoek in 1683 using primitive microscopes and continued with the realization today that there are many different kinds of infectious agents capable of colonizing the oral cavity and interacting with each other and the host, and causing diseases not only in the oral cavity but also at distant sites within a host.

The book under review is the second edition of Oral Microbiology and Immunology. The fırst edition, edited by R. J. Lamont, R. A. Burne, M. S. Lantz, and D. J. LeBlanc, and published by ASM Press in 2006, was praised as a very useful textbook for instructors and students (R. L. Sammons, Br. Dent. J. 202:429, 2007). Like the fırst edition, the current book has been divided into three sections, but it has been updated and expanded to a total of 22 chapters.

The fırst section constitutes almost half (226 pages) of the entire text. It contains 10 chapters and is entitled “General Principles of Oral Microbiology.” In the fırst two chapters, the reader can learn about the basic concepts in microbiology and immunology, including the differences between pro- and eukaryotes, bacterial architecture, the genetic organization of bacteria, microbial growth, and oral microbial ecology, as well as the immune system and host defenses.

The remaining eight chapters in Section I describe more specifıc aspects of oral microbiology and immunology. While the third chapter reviews the features and uniqueness of the oral cavity (which consists of mineralized hard tissue of the teeth and soft tissues of the oral mucosa), the fourth chapter discusses methods of isolation, classifıcation, and identifıcation of oral microorganisms. The authors of this latter chapter point out that although more than 700 species of bacteria have been identifıed in the oral cavity, many species have never been grown in culture. Chapters 5 and 6 provide information about oral microbial ecology and physiology, respectively. More specifıcally, the authors of Chapter 5 describe the acquisition of and colonization by oral bacteria, aspects of gene regulation, and issues associated with the communication of oral bacteria and host cells. The various challenging conditions microbes face in the oral environment, the metabolic activities, and the formation of biofılms as a survival strategy are discussed in Chapter 6.

The following three chapters deal with the genetics and molecular biology of oral microorganisms. Gene transfer, vectors and their utility, and plasmids in molecular analysis are the major topics in Chapter 7, and the results from gene expression, function, and regulation studies, as well as genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic approaches, are reviewed in Chapter 8. The ninth chapter is about oral population genetics, which includes information about bacterial population sizes, microbiota dynamics, and differences in virulence and pathogenicity of oral microbial strains. The last chapter in this section is about oral secretory immunity and subgingival immunity and inflammation.

The authors discuss in Section II, which contains nine chapters, the diseases caused by oral infectious agents. They introduce the reader to the general concepts of dental caries in Chapter 11 and to the pathogenic mechanisms in tooth decay in Chapter 12. There are three chapters about periodontal diseases. Chapter 13 deals with the general concepts of these diseases, Chapter 14 with the virulence factors of periodontal bacteria, and Chapter 15 with the immunopathogenic mechanisms.

Viruses and fungi of the oral cavity are the topics of Chapters 16 and 17, respectively. The chapter covering virology includes an introduction to viruses (e.g., virus structure, life cycle, and taxonomy) and the description of viruses which are known to cause pathologies as well as viruses which are present in the oral cavity but do not replicate in oral tissue. The authors also provide information about viral immune responses and evasion strategies, and antiviral vaccines and therapies. The chapter on oral fungi discusses the clinical conditions of candidiasis, aspergillosis, and blastomycosis, to name a few.

Chapter 18 is about endodontic microbiology, which means the study and treatment of infectious diseases of the dental pulp tissue (e.g., root canal infections). Chapter 19 focuses on the routes of infectious agents from oral to systemic compartments, the description of systemic diseases, and the potential of commensal bacteria to behave as pathogens.

The fınal section (Section III) is about the control of oral diseases. This includes discussions about immunological interventions (e.g., mucosal vaccination) (Chapter 20), treatment with antibiotics (Chapter 21), and infection control approaches in dentistry (e.g., cross-infection risk identifıcation and infection control measures)(Chapter 22).

This book provides comprehensive information about oral microbiology and immunology. I liked in particular that the chapters are self-contained and that the authors start in each chapter with a brief introduction to the topic and the terminology used before engaging in in-depth discussions. Very helpful are the highlighted boxes named “key points” located at the end of each chapter, which replace the summary/conclusion section often found in textbooks. The illustrations (most are in color) are outstanding. What I miss, however, are more discussions about future research possibilities. I found only a few chapters in which the authors provide this outlook (e.g.,Chapter 12: Caries models in the future). Sammons (2007) mentioned that the fırst edition included a “complementary CD-ROM containing all the colored fıgures and tables.” The review copy I received did not come with the disk, but it would have been helpful.

Overall, I consider the second edition of Oral Microbiology and Immunology a well-developed textbook. I believe it is most suited for students, instructors, and professionals in dentistry, but other health care professionals and researchers interested in this fıeld may also fınd this book useful.

Microbe Magazine

Reviewer: Christian T. K.-H. Stadtländer, St. Paul, Minn.

Review Date: May 2014

British Dental Journal

12 June 2014

The second edition of Oral microbiology and immunology presents, as the authors state: ‘a comprehensive and in-depth overview of the oral ecosystem and its role in human health and disease’. I feel the book is an excellent educational tool for dental and microbiology students and a good revision aid for postgraduates. The book is edited by three eminent professors of oral microbiology, molecular genetics and immunology and each chapter is contributed to by individuals who work within each particular field.

The book is well laid out and is divided into 22 relevant chapters. Each chapter provides a list of contents for easy identification. Within each chapter there are many detailed, easy to read coloured diagrams, tables, photographs etc, which explain and simplify various areas of the written text. At the end of the chapters a table summarising the key points is provided, which is an excellent revision aid as it reinforces and highlights the salient points. In addition, further reading is provided, which is brilliant for readers who would like to explore the topic further with relevant references.

The book is divided into three sections: Section I – ‘General principles of oral microbiology’ includes ten chapters focusing on immunological and microbiological concepts that are the scientific basis for understanding human responses in health and disease with a particular focus on oral health. Section II - ‘Infection-driven oral diseases’ includes nine chapters focusing on dental caries, periodontal disease, oral virology, fungi and fungal infections of the oral cavity, endodontic microbiology and systemic disease and the oral microbiota. Section III - ‘Control of oral diseases’ includes three in-depth chapters on immunological intervention against oral diseases, antibiotics and the treatment of infectious diseases and infection control in dentistry. It explores new advances in oral immunology such as the vaccination against dental caries and periodontal disease.

As oral infections and disease persist to create a major public health challenge it is vital oral health professionals have an understanding of the basic concepts of oral microbiology and immunology in order to be equipped to appropriately treat the various oral health problems. I feel this book is an up-to-date and relevant textbook to arm students and health professionals with this information.

British Dental Journal

Volume 216. No. 10

Reviewer: L. ANDREWS

Review Date: May 23, 2014

Andrews L. Review: oral microbiology and immunology, 2nd edition. Br Dent J 2014; 216: 550

Doody's Review Service

09 January 2014


This is an extensive overview of oral microbiology and immunology. The book covers oral structures to the immune system, colonizing organisms, and microbial physiology, as well as genetics and applied microbiology techniques used in identifying and studying the oral environment. The first edition was published seven years ago.


The purpose is to provide the basic facts as well as ecological and biological context as they relate to the world of microbiology and immunology. In addition, the goals are to help dental practitioners and clinical scientists understand the basic science underlying oral health and disease in order for such knowledge to be translated into future health improvements. With a paradigm shift in healthcare focusing on an oral and systemic health connection, the objectives of the authors are quite relevant and timely.


The book is written for dental practitioners and other healthcare providers, clinical scientists, students, or residents. It is a great overview and review of oral microbiology and immunology for this audience and for other scientists who might be interested in gaining a better understanding of the oral microbial environment and its impact on oral health and pathology. The authors are highly credentialed and they have amassed an equally qualified group of accomplished contributors.


In addition to covering all aspects of oral microbiology and immunology, the book also includes a comprehensive review of microbial physiology, genetics, immunology, dental disease, oral virology, and fungal infections. It also provides information on control of dental diseases through various mechanisms including infection control. The book includes a number of high quality illustrations, diagrams, and photographs to complement the discussion. The book has a unique design in that there is an outline of the content at the beginning of each chapter. Also, key points along with further reading are included at the end of the chapter. These features are very helpful in reviewing the information and provide additional references that will assist readers in understanding the information presented. The book is well organized, up to date, and comprehensive.


This book covers the ecology, physiology, molecular biology, immunogenicity, and virulence of oral bacteria, viruses, and fungi as described by the authors. The information is in depth and current. The discussion of biofilms and microbiomes, as well as the role of molecular biology and applied molecular techniques in microbial identification and pathogenic mechanisms, makes this essential reading for teaching and understanding oral microbiology and immunology.

Weighted Numerical Score: 96 - 4 Stars!

Doody's Review Service

Reviewer: Janet H. Southerland, DDS, MPH, PhD(Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry)

Review Date: December 2013

©Doody’s Review Service

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