As long as the issue concerns clinical microbiology, "Koneman's Color Atlas and Textbook of Diagnostic Microbiology" remains the undisputed champion. This newly published sixth edition is the definitive guide for both students and professionals. Its extensive and up-to-date coverage (of bacteriology, mycology, parasitology, and virology) is second to none. In fact, this 1535-paged hardcover edition is an all-encompassing one-stop medical microbiology text. Very few standalone books come even close! And, its close-to 630 color sample figures exceed what many standalone color atlases boast of.
Relative to the previous editions, it is my wish to emphasize that every chapter of this book has undergone extensive and updated revisions. All aspects of theoretical and practical informations have received generous facelifts; and all the lab tests included conform to the current Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute's (formerly NCCLS) specifications. The same apply to the design, general layout, organization, and remarkable referencing of each topic. Every paragraph of this book was explained in simple, easy-to-understand English. Indeed, this book is a winner: anytime, anywhere! It is a true gold-standard!
There is so much positive qualities going for it that one may end-up writing pages while trying to cover them all. However, I must highlight the only downside I noticed, which is that this book is very heavy. Still, its well-bounded hardcover, reasonable retail price, as well as the high-quality papers used throughout its 1500-plus pages, offer logical compensation for the extra weight. Cheers!