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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Jay P. Goldsmith, MD (Tulane University School of Medicine)
Description: This edition of a comprehensive book on perinatal infections comes with two new associate editors (Dr. Victor Nizet and Dr. Yvonne Maldonado), but without one previous editor (Dr. Carol Baker). The loss of Dr. Baker is unfortunate since she is a leading authority in group B strep infections and a member of the Red Book Committee for many years. Although the preface claims new authors with fresh perspectives, many of the chapters have very little new information. However, there are new chapters on focal bacterial infections, neonatal diarrhea, and maternal neonatal immunization.
Purpose: This is intended to be the definitive guide to perinatal infections. It is written for all healthcare providers who deal with pregnant mothers and newborn infants. The book is certainly comprehensive, providing information for both the developed and the underdeveloped world. This has been a standard reference for 35 years and the editors have fulfilled their objectives of providing a single source book in this area of medicine.
Audience: The intended audience is all perinatal care providers, especially obstetricians, pediatricians, and neonatologists. The book is suitable for residents and fellowship trainees, but probably too comprehensive for students and nurses. All of the contributors and editors are noted authorities in this field.
Features: The book is divided into sections on general information about perinatal infections, bacterial, viral, and other infections (protozoan, helminth, and fungal), with a closing section on general principles of diagnosis and management. The chapters on pathogens are fairly consistent, with sections on epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical signs and symptoms, diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, and prevention. Unique chapters on human milk, infection control, and antimicrobial aids are well written and continue to be my favorites. Unfortunately, several chapters are in need of updating with very little change from the previous edition and almost no new references. Although the placenta is mentioned in many chapters, a future edition might consider a comprehensive chapter on placental infections, diagnosis, and significance.
Assessment: This book is still without peer and many chapters represent the most comprehensive reference on the subject. This seventh edition will continue to be the standard reference in this field, but it is time to truly rewrite many of the sections.