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From The CriticsReviewer: Rebecca T. Horvat, PhD, D (ABMM)(University of Kansas Medical Center)
Description: The curved Gram negative bacilli that make up the Campylobacter species were first noted in the late 1800s, but it has been only in the last 20 years that a clear understanding of the pathogenesis of this species has been recognized. This is the third edition of this book devoted to the recent information known about the Camplyobacter species and closely related Helicobacter and Arcobacter species. The previous edition was published eight years ago and there is a clear need to update the book with developments during that time regarding this group of organisms.
Purpose: The new edition includes the recent research on the pathogenesis, immune responses to Campylobacter infection, genetic organization of the bacteria, and the development of antibiotic resistance. All of these discoveries have come within the last few years as research techniques and methods have improved. This book provides some clearly needed answers to some of the puzzles associated with these bacteria.
Audience: This book is written for scientists studying Campylobacter and the clinicians and public health professionals treating and monitoring infections with this agent. The authors are all well recognized experts in the field and provide some exciting new information that can be used to prevent and treat infections due to Campylobacter.
Features: In 1991, the genera Campylobacter and Arcobacter were placed in a new bacterial family called the Campylobaceraceae. During the next 17 years, numerous other bacteria were reclassified and placed into this family. This was possible due to the study of the genetic arrangement and the physical properties of these bacteria. Also during this time, it became clear that Campylobacter was the causative agent of diarrheal diseases in humans and is associated with acute inflammatory enteritis. These findings allowed public health professionals to determine that the Campylobacter species was the most frequently identified cause of bacterial diarrhea in humans. It was also recognized that a very serious and debilitating disease, Guillain-Barre syndrome, that causes acute neuromuscular paralysis, was highly associated with prior Campylobacter infections. These findings built on each other and it is expected this type of discovery will continue as scientists, clinicians, and public health professionals work together to detect these pathogens. This book will serve as a vital source of information to assist in this effort.
Assessment: This book will become my primary reference for information regarding Campylobacter infections. I had difficulty deciding which topics I found more interesting. In the end, I realized that the whole book tied into the discovery of how pathogens are identified and the collaboration needed to complete the entire picture.