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Microbial Inhabitants of Humans

Microbial Inhabitants of Humans
Their Ecology and Role in Health and Disease


  • Date Published: November 2004
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521841580

$ 180.00

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About the Authors
  • This advanced textbook provides a unique overview of the microbial communities (normal indigenous microbiota) inhabiting those regions of the human body that are exposed to the external environment, including the skin, eyes, oral cavity and the respiratory, urinary, reproductive and gastrointestinal tracts. In order to understand why particular organisms are able to colonise an anatomical region and why the resulting microbial community has a particular composition, an ecological approach is essential. Consequently, the key anatomical and physiological characteristics of each body site are described throughout the book. The crucial roles of the indigenous microbiota in protecting against exogenous pathogens, regulating the development of our immune system and mucosae, and providing nutrients are also discussed. The involvement of these organisms in infections of healthy and debilitated individuals are discussed throughout and methods of manipulating the composition of the indigenous microbiota for the benefit of human health are also described.

    • Ecological approach to describing the origin and nature of the microbial communities living on humans
    • Emphasizes the important benefits to humans of these microbial communities
    • Describes the wide range of diseases caused by indigenous microbes
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This authoritative book fills a gaping hole in the literature by describing how bacteria interrelate with us … The book's strength lies in the exhaustive, clearly organized evidence that the author presents to overwhelmingly document his hypothesis … His hard-nosed look at the evidence in the area of holistic medicine will be much appreciated by the skeptic and the enthusiast alike … He has made a valuable contribution by assembling in one place this comprehensive body of information.' Science

    '… this outstanding textbook heralds a holistic approach to microbiology … This book may be read very comfortably from cover-to-cover …'. Journal of the American Medical Association

    'The book provides an up-to-date, comprehensive review of current knowledge concerning the normal flora of a range of different sites on the body, and associated endogenous infections.' Society for General Microbiology

    'This is the first edition of this text book that gives an overview of the microbial inhabitants of the regions of the human body exposed to the external environment, including the skin, eyes, oral cavity and the respiratory, urinary, reproductive and gastrointestinal tracts. It is aimed at advanced students of microbiology, medical microbiology, microbial ecology and human biology … The test definitely makes for an interesting read and is well written, well referenced and has good diagrams, pictures and clear tables. The final chapter 'Manipulation of the indigenous microbiota using environmental determinants', is an interesting description of how infections may, in theory at least, be treated without antibiotics. Given the increasing microbial resistance problems that challenge daily practice, these concepts inevitably promote interest amongst microbiologists.' The Bulletin of the Royal College of Pathologists

    '… a well-written, affordable book which deserves to be on the shelf of every microbiology-oriented health professional and student of human diseases. … It will fit easily into the curriculum of microbiology graduate and advanced undergraduate students.' ASM News

    'This book should be appreciated for being ahead of its time. … Readers will find a wealth of information on a few key biological species from each anatomic region … The book is organized logically with a clearly outlined table of contents. The text is well written, and there are abundant useful tables throughout. The index is excellent.' Clinical Infectious Diseases

    'This book is an aerial view of exactly what the title describes and will instruct well those who want to grasp the scope of the vast and varied topic of the normal microflora.' The New England Journal of Medicine

    'This exceedingly thorough, up-to-date and complete treatise on microbial inhabitants of humans is warmly recommended for medical microbiologists, immunologists and physicians involved in the treatment and/or study of infectious diseases and teachers of medical microbiology and immunology.' Immunological Investigations

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2004
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521841580
    • length: 476 pages
    • dimensions: 254 x 178 x 27 mm
    • weight: 1.04kg
    • contains: 136 b/w illus. 2 colour illus. 194 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. An introduction to the human-microbe symbiosis
    2. The skin and its indigenous microbiota
    3. The eye and its indigenous microbiota
    4. The respiratory system and its indigenous microbiota
    5. The urinary system and its indigenous microbiota
    6. The reproductive system and its indigenous microbiota
    7. The gastrointestinal tract and its indigenous microbiota
    8. The oral cavity and its indigenous microbiota
    9. Role of the indigenous microbiota in maintaining human health
    10. Manipulation of the indigenous microbiota.

  • Author

    Michael Wilson, University College London
    Michael Wilson is Professor of Microbiology in the Faculty of Clinical Sciences, University College London, and Head of the Department of Microbiology at the Eastman Dental Institute, University College London. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Biofilms and has co-authored or edited numerous books, including Bacterial Disease Mechanisms (2002), Bacterial Adhesion to Host Tissues (2002) and Medical Implications of Biofilms (2003).

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