Foundations of parasitology (4th edn)

Foundations of parasitology (4th edn)

ParasitologyToday,vol. 6, no. 51, 1990 Foundations of Parasitology (4th edn) by G.D. Schmidtand LS. Roberts, Williams and Wilkins, I !;89. £33.75 (vi...

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ParasitologyToday,vol. 6, no. 51, 1990

Foundations of Parasitology (4th edn) by G.D. Schmidtand LS. Roberts, Williams and Wilkins, I !;89. £33.75 (viii + 750 pages) ISBN 0 8016 5039 9 There are two types of general textbook on parasitology on the market, the encyclopaedic and the selective. The former attempts to cover all groups of parasites and some general aspects of the subject. In contrast, the latter deals in a more limited way with specific groups, in some depth, using them to examine the phenomenon of parasitism as exemplified by particular species within that group. Both clearly have their place in different types of parasitology course. This volume lies somewhere in between these two categories, but nearer the encyclopaedic than the selective. It covers the whole range of animal parasites, protozoa, helminths and arthropods, as well as discussing basic principles with some specialized attention to rapidly changing areas such as immunology. In this respect, it probably covers a greater range of parasites than any comparable textbook available at present and can be considered an excellent source of reference for students taking a comprehensive course in parasitology. The fact that the 4th edition has appeared only four years after the 3rd edition reflects its success, especially in the United States. This edition has been updated with some additional references in most chapters and several chapters have been extensively revised. There are also additional sections on immunodiagnosis and (very topically) the relationship of opportunistic parasites to AIDS. There is also a very detailed glossary which students (and even the most experienced parasitologist) will find useful in keeping track of the changing terminology of the subject. Like the previous editions, the index is rather 'thin' in spite of comprising more than 50 pages, and scarcely does justice to the'. contents and coverage of the book. It is surprising to find, for example, that there is only one entry each for 'enzymes ~ and 'carbon dioxide' and none at all for 'isoenzymes' or 'strains', which are dominating topics in modern parasite taxonomy and physiology. This may be the result of computer-indexing, which seems to have generally lowered tl~e standard of indexing instead of enhancing it. The book is extensively illustrated


with text figures and photographs that vary considerably in quality and clarity. Those that have been specially redrawn for this edition are excellent, but the variation in the style of labelling and the size relationships does not enhance the overall style of presentation~ The printers, also, have not always done the authors justice and over-reduction and poor printing have made the occasional illustration (eg. Fig. 22-4) - at least in my copy- almost unreadable. In spite of these minor criticisms, the book can be well recommended to

Protozoa and Other Protists by Michael Sleigh, Edward Arnold, 1989. £ 14.95 pbk, £30.00 hbk (x + 342 pages) ISBN07131 29433 The title of this book encapsulates its approach, the 'holistic view' (which I share) that the protozoa are not a taxonomic unit but a diverse assemblage of species within the Protista. The name Protista itself denotes more a taxonomic stratum than a coherent taxon; as the author nicely puts it, 'perhaps a confederation' rather than a kingdom. Professor Sleigh accepts what might be regarded as the less extreme symbiotic theory of the evolution of some eukaryotic organelles, encompassing the origin of mitochondria and plastids, but not cilia and flagella, by symbiosis; the latter structures, he suggests, arose from 'projecting bundles of microtubules'. This book is not aimed at parasitologists, but rather at protistophiles (among whom I include myself). The specialist will probably learn little new about his or her favourite organisms, but she or he will learn a great deal about their place among the welter of other protists and, probably (I certainly did), a great deal about the general anatomy and physiology of protists, so spectacularly revealed by modern technology and expertise in the past few decades. This is, therefore, a book for generalists - for those who regret the everincreasing need for narrow specialization. For students of zoology, I suggest that the book is essential; for students of parasitology, it should be required background reading; for old-timers like me, it is a painless way of being brought up to date; I am sure, to all who read it, the book will give pleasure and enjoyment as well as information.

students requiring an overall view of parasitology at a good, general level, and, indeed, it would be difficult to find a more comprehensive text for students to have on their bookshelves. Advanced students and research workers may find it of more limited value.

J.D. Smyth Department of Medical Parasitology London Schoolof Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Keppel Street London WC I E 7HT, UK

The book starts with general chapters on evolution, structure, physiology, and reproduction. The four main (but loose) groups of protists (flagellated, amoeboid, ciliated, and spore-forming parasites) are then accorded a chapter each. The final chapter discusses protistan ecology (including that of parasites and other symbionts). The paperback is good value for money; it is well-produced and attractively illustrated (although Fig. 5.6 is unfortunately printed upside down!); I noticed very few misprints ('actin' is rather appropriately mis-spelled 'action' on p. 20). A minor grouse (perhaps because it involves some of my publications) is that the reference list has not been entirely adequately updated from the book's predecessor The Biology of Protozoa (Edward Arnold, 1973): plenty of recent references are included, but not some of the later editions of books referred to earlier; however, that really is a minor quibble. J.R. Baker 4 Beboir Rd Cambridge CB4 IJJ,UK

Policies and programmes of governments, bilateral and multilateral agencies and development banks for environmental management in the context of natural resources, agriculture and health development. This paper, by T.H. Mather and R. Bos, was the main background paper at the 9th meeting of the Panel of Experts on Environmental Management for Vector Control. A slightly revised version is now published as PEEM document VBC/ 89.7, and is available from PEEM Secretariat, W H O , Geneva.