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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Trevor C Van Schooneveld, MD (University of Nebraska Medical Center )
Description: This book presents 40 case descriptions of diseases caused by bacterial, fungal, viral, and parasitic organisms which cause common or significant infections throughout the world. The presentation is arranged by organism, with an initial illustrative case followed by an exposition describing five key issues: the causative agent and its spread, the host response and pathogenesis of disease, the clinical presentation and complications, how the disease is diagnosed, and, finally, how the disease is treated and prevented.
Purpose: The authors, inspired by their successful medical school course, set out to create a book which would help students of microbiology and medicine understand a broad diversity of medically important organisms. They have been successful in this as they have included many key organisms and also described many key clinical syndromes of infectious disease in the process.
Audience: The nature of a case series book like this limits its use as a reference for medical trainees. However, it excels at providing a case-based introduction to the key epidemiologic, pathophysiologic, clinical, diagnostic, and treatment issues involved in a variety of infectious diseases and would be an excellent guide for case discussions in a medical microbiology course.
Features: The many clinical images, charts, tables, and diagrams that illustrate the text include excellent representations of clinical disease and clear descriptions of complicated biological systems. All images are available as JPEG images or PowerPoint slides on the publisher's website. Each chapter includes 1 to 2 pages of bulleted points which provide a concise summary of the material. Websites, including sites such as Wikipedia, are provided for further reference, but their utility varies. Finally, a series of multiple choice questions with answers and explanations are included with each chapter.
Assessment: This book, while far from definitive, provides an excellent resource for students of microbiology and medicine. It provides excellent descriptions, in text, pictures, and diagrams, of a broad spectrum of infectious diseases. While the level of detail may not satisfy experts in the field, the summary of complex information in concise text and graphics makes it a useful addition to most collections.