Diagnostic Microbiology and Infectious Disease 39 (2001) 69
Book Review Human Virology, 2nd ed. L. Collier & J. Oxford, 276 pages ⫹ index $24.95 Oxford University Press, Inc., New York, 2000 ISBN 0-19-262820-8 There are many books on virology available today and the need for a second edition of a virology text book initially published in 1993 may be questioned by some. For students of medicine, dentistry, and medical microbiology the answer is an unequivocal YES! This second edition will be welcomed not only by students, but also by those who will teach this subject to students. This edition, although patterned after the very successful first edition, is bound to be even more successful that its predecessor. The material covered in previous chapters has been revised, updated, amplified, and presented with a larger array of diagrams, photos, tables, sketches, etc. New chapters on viral respiratory, sexually transmitted, and emerging infections are included. The book is conveniently divided into 4 parts. General Principles with chapters on fundamentals, properties, classification, replication, pathogenesis, cancerogenesis, and epidemiology. Specific Infections with 20 chapters in which the classical groups of viruses, their characterization, classification, and disease spectrum are presented. Two chapters in this part are devoted to dangerous & exotic viruses and the second to prion diseases (which currently are not considered to be caused by viruses). At this point an addition to the epidemiology of rabies
should be mentioned. This book correctly states that vampire bats are a reservoir of rabies in the Caribbean. It should be added that bats, indigenous to the North American continent, also may carry the rabies virus. Rabid bats have been detected in every state in the United States except Hawaii and at least 33 cases of rabies in humans caused by bats have been reported. Part Three is concerned with Special Syndromes. Six chapters cover viral diseases of the central nervous system, intrauterine, perinatal respiratory and sexually transmitted diseases plus a chapter on infections in patients with defective immunity and a final chapter on emergent and resurgent viral infections. Part Four dwells on Practical Aspects. These include laboratory diagnosis, immunization practices and antiviral chemotherapy. Also, there are the usual appendices one of which is an excellent discussion of safety practices with patient care and in the laboratory. Almost every chapter concludes with a list of “reminders” which are very useful synopses of the highlights of the chapter. Suggestions for future reading are also provided. The authors have written an interesting text for the intended audience: A concise, but thorough introduction to medical virology. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this text is the skillful intermingling of molecular virology and the traditional approach to the study of medical virology. Users of this text will neither be short changed nor disappointed.
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Albert Balows, Ph.D. Book Review Editor