Principles and Practice of Bacteriology

by Arthur H. Bryan, V.M.D. and Charles G. Bryan, M.D. 4th edition. 350 pp., paper, 100 illustrations, 3 color plates. New York, Barnes and Noble, 1951, $1.75

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According to the publishers this work summarizes all of the important facts, processes, and techniques in medical, veterinary, agricultural, and industrial bacteriology. In some particulars this is an understatement, for one also finds “summaries” on mycology (9 pp), pathogenic protozoa (8 pp), immunology (23 pp), etc. Much space is devoted to definitions and to examination questions.

If, as is claimed, this is an integration and condensation of hundreds of books, journals, abstracts, and articles, it is indeed unfortunate that so many errors have been concentrated. For example, the section on Diplococcus pneumonia contains this information as to pneumococcus capsular polysaccharides: “When inoculated alone, they do not form antibodies,” (p 202). Under “pneumococcus typing” (p 203) four methods are offered. Three of these are completely out of date. The important subject of type transformation is omitted altogether. Under the subtitle “therapy” is found: “Sulfonamides are the treatment of choice.”