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From The CriticsReviewer: Wellington Sun, M.D.(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Description: This publication, the proceedings of the Novartis Foundation Symposium on New Treatment Strategies for Dengue and Other Flaviviral Diseases held in Singapore in September 2005, includes 16 chapters on the topics of dengue epidemiology, structural biology, molecular genetics, biochemistry, animal models, immunology, and vaccinology with chapter-ending discussions by the participating experts. The panel of 34 experts in the field was chaired by Dr. Charles Rice from Rockefeller University.
Purpose: The purpose is actually broader than what the title suggests. This 265-page book is not only a review of the current status of dengue therapeutics and candidate viral targets, it also provides an update on many other fields in the study of dengue. The panel of experts includes many authorities with experience with other viruses and other fields of research. Their insights provide a better understanding of dengue within a broader context and highlight some of the unique features of this virus.
Audience: This book is written mostly for researchers, with heavy emphasis on results of basic research. Virologists, immunologists, molecular biologists, and structural biologists will find plenty of fodder in this book. It also serves well those who are interested in dengue who would like an in-depth update of this rapidly advancing field.
Features: The quality of the chapters is excellent and they are well referenced. The discussions at the end of the chapters are most interesting because they provide the participants' personal views on the subjects. Through these free-wheeling discussions, readers gain insights into what is controversial in the field. However, the sequence of chapters can be organized more logically and the book could benefit from the addition of some discussion of the results of therapeutics that have been tried, such as steroids. The use of passively transferred antibodies as therapy deserves more discussion in this book of treatment strategies.
Assessment: This is an excellent update of many aspects of dengue and the difficult quest for treatment and prevention. It is a valuable resource for new researchers coming to this fascinating field. Hopefully there will be future editions.