Microbial Behaviour, ‘In Vivo’ and ‘In Vitro,’

Fourteenth Symposium of the Society for General Microbiology, Royal Institution, London, April 1964, edited by H. Smith, Microbiological Research Establishment, Porton, Wiltshire, England, and Joan Taylor, Salmonella Reference Laboratory, Central Public Health Laboratory, Colindale, N.W. 9, England. x + 296 pages. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1964. $8.00

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  • Department of Epidemiology Public Health Research Institute of the City of New York, Inc, New York, New York

This book is the latest of the well known series of symposia of the Society for General Microbiology.

While it is hard to quarrel with the stated aim of this present symposium “to make microbiologists stop and consider how far laboratory experiments were explaining microbial behavior in nature,” this reviewer finds that for the most part the authors represented here ignore this admonition. Perhaps the most pertinent chapter is contributed by H. Smith, who in broad terms outlines the general area of the microbiological research on pathogenicity. The emphasis is on the understanding of the mechanism or cause of virulence, the detection and identification of toxic products, and the response of the host either as a whole or in localized tissues. Unfortunately the chapter falls short of the promised insight into these problems. The author frequently merely cites the subject of a worker's paper without giving the pertinent conclusions and possible critical appraisal.