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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Rebecca T. Horvat, PhD, D (ABMM)(University of Kansas Medical Center)
Description: This book examines the large number of new parasitic pathogens that cause disease in humans. These infectious agents cause an assortment of diseases and can be acquired by various routes such as ingestion of food, insect bites, and sexual transmission. This is a quick review of new information on these parasites and the ongoing research on their ability to infect and cause disease in humans.
Purpose: According to the authors, this book is intended as a guide for scientists and health professionals needing current information on the new and emerging protozoan pathogens. This is a worthwhile endeavor since these microorganisms cause a large number of infections worldwide.
Audience: This would be valuable for scientists involved in researching parasitic organisms or it could be used as a textbook for students entering the field of parasitology. The authors provide a good review of what is currently known about the biology, ecology, and virulence mechanisms of each organism as well as the host-parasite interactions that occur to cause disease.
Features: This book covers the entire range of protozoan pathogens from the well known Acanamoeba, Giardia, and Toxoplasma agents to the newly recognized agents such as Balamuthia mandrillaris and Babesia microti. Each organism is covered in detail with information about the life cycle in the environment and the mode to infection in humans. It also provides interesting information on the animal models used to study these infectious organisms in the laboratory. Also covered for each organism is the appropriate diagnostic test methods used to detect it during human infections and the antiparasitic agents that work to help eliminate the infecting agent. Each chapter includes a wealth of pictures that show the characteristic stages of the parasite.
Assessment: This is a comprehensive book with current information about human parasitic infections. It is more appropriate as a textbook for teaching than a book for a diagnostic laboratory. It contains good information for teaching a parasitic course but not enough information for use in setting up testing algorithms.