Oxford handbook of infectious diseases and microbiology

Oxford handbook of infectious diseases and microbiology

Journal of Hospital Infection 75 (2010) 148 Available online at www.sciencedirect.com Journal of Hospital Infection journal homepage: www.elsevierhe...

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Journal of Hospital Infection 75 (2010) 148

Available online at www.sciencedirect.com

Journal of Hospital Infection journal homepage: www.elsevierhealth.com/journals/jhin

Book Review Oxford handbook of infectious diseases and microbiology E. Torok, E. Moran, F. Cooke (Eds.). Oxford University Press, 2009. pp 916, ISBN: 978-0-19-856925-1, flexicover £32.95, US$59.95

Merging of boundaries of infection-related specialties in many UK centres was heralded in the last decade by joint specialist training in medical microbiology, virology, infectious diseases, genitourinary medicine and general medicine. After this training, Drs Torok, Moran and Cooke have generated a handbook which reflects a multidisciplinary approach to the management of infection reflecting both their hands-on skills in laboratory diagnosis and clinical management of a plethora of infections. Written in the style of the Oxford handbooks which most recent UK medical graduates have grown up with, it is both comprehensive yet succinct, and will be useful in the ward doctors’ room, nurses’ station, laboratory reporting room or on the benches. Being well indexed and referenced, information is readily accessible with the fundamentals required for diagnosis and management distilled into one or two pages in well-categorised sections such as antimicrobials, systematic microbiology, infection control and clinical syndromes. It is a tremendous resource for exam preparation and is highly relevant for medical finals, FRCPath in medical microbiology and virology, MRCP or DTMH. (The conciseness and clarity of the antimicrobial section has already proven a hit with allied

doi:10.1016/j.jhin.2009.12.011

health professional colleagues embarking on training in nonmedical prescribing.) In a field as rapidly changing as infection management, this resource is in danger of losing its relevance quite quickly. This is most apparent in the infection control section where there is no mention of standard precautions (although all its aspects are addressed) but reference instead to outdated universal precautions. The role of infection control in patient safety is not mentioned. Outbreak management covers less than a page and although factually correct and reproducible as bullet points for a short notes question in an exam, is of little practical assistance if faced with an infectious disease outbreak. Nevertheless, the organism summaries in the systematic microbiology section are highly relevant to the non-specialist faced with a laboratory report of an obscure organism, and the step-by-step instructions for the management of frequently mismanaged conditions such as prosthetic joint infection are a joy to read. It is both comprehensive and as relevant to today’s infection specialists as it is to medical students and recent graduates, and is to be recommended as a timely additional resource in the Oxford handbook series. D. Inverarity Department of Microbiology, Monklands Hospital, Monkscourt Avenue, Airdrie, Lanarkshire, UK E-mail address: [email protected]