How Pathogenic Viruses Think

How Pathogenic Viruses Think


Over the past decade, the amount of data on viruses has grown dramatically. How can a virology student possibly make sense of all this information? In How Pathogenic Viruses Think, Second Edition, Dr. Sompayrac introduces an "organizing principle" - a paradigm to use to cut through all the details and focus on what's important. He demonstrates the use of this paradigm by "interviewing" twelve medically important viruses. During these interviews, each virus is encouraged to disclose not only what it does, but why it does it. And when a "talking virus" reveals its secrets, they are hard to forget!

How Pathogenic Viruses Think covers the essential elements of virus-host interactions with descriptive graphics, helpful mnemonic tactics for retaining the information, and brief reviews of important concepts. It is an ideal book to help medical, science, and nursing students make sense of this complex subject.


Interviewer: I always ask the viruses I interview, "How do you attack your hosts, and why have you chosen that route?"

Flu Virus: I favor the respiratory route.

Interviewer: Okay, but why? For example, why not enter via the digestive tract?

Flu Virus: Are you kidding me? Do I look like a dumb virus to you? My Uncle Harold tried the digestive tract once, and got as far as the stomach before the acid in there ate him alive! Not me. I take the easy way in. The respiratory route of infection provides direct access to my favorite target cells - the epithelial cells which line the human airway.

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