GGBG's First Review

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The bound page proofs are now out, and Good Germs, Bad Germs has its first review--from Publishers Weekly. Here it is ...

goodgermsbadgerms_cover_small.jpg Good Germs, Bad Germs: Health and Survival in a Bacterial World
Jessica Snyder Sachs. Hill & Wang, $25 (336p) ISBN 978-0-8090-5063-5

Science writer Sachs (Corpse) makes a strong case for a new paradigm for dealing with the microbial life that teems around and within us. Taking both evolutionary and ecological approaches, she explains why antibiotics work so well but are now losing their effectiveness. She notes that between agricultural antibiotic usage and needless prescriptions written for human use, antibiotic resistance has reached terrifying levels. A decade ago, resistant infections acquired in hospitals "were killing an estimated eighty-eight thousand Americans each year... more than car accidents and homicides combined." Our attempts to destroy microorganisms regularly upset useful microbial communities, often leading to serious medical consequences. Sachs also presents evidence suggesting that an epidemiclike rise in autoimmune diseases and allergies may be attributable to our misguided frontal assault on the bacterial world. The solution proposed is to encourage the growth of healthy, displacement-resistant microbial ecological communities and promote research that disrupts microbial processes rather than simply attempting to kill the germs themselves. Despite the frightening death toll, Sachs's summary of promising new avenues of research offers hope. (Oct. 16)

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