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From The CriticsReviewer: Rebecca T. Horvat, PhD, D (ABMM)(University of Kansas Medical Center)
Description: This small book on the current status of the human pathogen, Legionella pneumophila, starts with information on the bacterial genome and ends with the review of an effective immune response to infection.
Purpose: This book will serve to update the scientific and medical community with information that will allow for the rapid detection and treatment of Legionella infections. It includes both historical descriptions of how the agent was identified and the newer methods now being employed.
Audience: The audience for this book includes clinicians, laboratory personnel, and scientists who need an update on the new scientific information regarding Legionella species. This information was contributed by a cast of very accomplished scientists and physicians.
Features: A chapter that describes the complete genome of three different Legionella pneumophila strains begins the book. This very basic information will allow for comparing this bacterial pathogen with other bacteria and discovering the unique features that make Legionella pathogenic. This chapter is followed by several that describe the growth and survival of this bacterium in the environment. It appears that manmade environments are responsible for most of the outbreaks. Human infections are associated with aerosolization of water sources such as a shower or whirlpools. This aerosol production allows for the inhalation of bacteria which then leads to infection. Additional information shows that these bacteria can replicate rapidly in the human macrophages. Chapter 8 includes a very comprehensive table of the known outbreaks of human disease caused by Legionella. It is encouraging that the mortality of Legionella infections has gone down since the first recognized outbreak in 1976. This is likely due to the rapid recognition of infections and the quick administration of appropriate antibiotic therapy.
Assessment: This compact reference full of good information about the Legionella bacteria is easy to read and allows for quick retrieval of desired information.