Description: This compendium of papers on antimicrobial resistance is the sixth in the Issues in Infectious Diseases series edited by Brian Mahy of the CDC.
Purpose: The purpose is to address many of the issues related to the emergence of antimicrobial resistance. The essays encompass a wide range of topics, from a basic treatise on fluoroquinolone resistance to looking at infection control related approaches to the reduction of healthcare-associated infections in hospital settings. These are all important topics and are discussed in an engaging manner that keeps readers' attention. However, the book makes quite clear that it will not address a major issue which has been troubling many of us: the paucity of new anti-infective agents. Put bluntly, they cost too much to develop and the pharmaceutical industry does not feel it will earn an adequate profit on its investment.
Audience: This book, in my opinion, is written for infectious diseases practitioners. The basic science is not overwhelmingly complex and the clinical/epidemiological pieces are written at an appropriate level. All the senior authors are leaders in their fields
Features: The many areas of antimicrobial resistance the book covers range from the exceedingly topical, such as infections due to community acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), ESBLs, and fluoroquinolone-resistant organisms, to reduction of infections through both antibiotic and infection control and to third-world issues in HIV and parasitic diseases. It is important to realize that these are topical essays on areas under the umbrella of antimicrobial resistance. This is neither a textbook nor an encyclopedia.
Assessment: This book is a worthy addition to the series. It is both well written and well edited. The tables concisely summarize relevant data. Illustrations are few, although given the subject matter, not many are needed. Of course, we are given the classic Weinstein resistance iceberg graphic which is now close to 20 years old. I would recommend this book to infectious diseases physicians who would like to be updated on selective issues in antimicrobial resistance.