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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Eugene A Davidson, PhD (Georgetown University School of Medicine)
Description: This book covers many aspects of the chemistry and biology of the aminoglycoside antibiotics. Topics range from genetics to molecular modeling to clinical side effects.
Purpose: The goal is to provide a broad introduction to the area as well as an up-to-date summary of current work. Given the importance (past and present) of this class of drugs, this is a worthwhile objective and the book has largely succeeded in meeting its goal.
Audience: Although a relatively limited topic, the range of coverage is such as to appeal to a broad audience — advanced students, research fellows, and principal investigators. The editor has assembled a qualified group of contributors.
Features: Since the discovery of streptomycin more than 60 years ago, aminoglycoside antibiotics have occupied a prominent place in the antimicrobial armamentarium. This book provides a current assessment of the field in a logical and coherent fashion. Following a prefatory chapter recounting relevant history, there is discussion of the genetics and biochemistry — a major chapter. Additional discussions cover resistance mechanisms, molecular modeling, side effects in clinical use, and application to diseases such as HIV. Each chapter is accompanied by a useful bibliography. Although black-and-white figures are not of high quality, several color plates illustrate well the level of information that is available. This book will be of interest to those working in the area as well as investigators interested in antibiotic development generally.
Assessment: This is a well written and thorough contribution. Key aspects of drug action, development and design are covered, which provide readers with a strong overview. This is a worthwhile acquisition for investigators in the general area of drug development/antibiotics.