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J. Med. Microbiol. -
1999 The Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland
Vol. 48 (1999), 219-220
Molecular Bacteriology: Protocols and Clinical
Applications Methods in Molecular Medicine,
Edited by NEIL WOODFORD and ALAN P. JOHNSON. 1998.
ISBN 0-89603-498-4. Humana Press, New Jersey. Pp. 682.
This book aims to provide insight into molecular methods
that may be useful in modern medical bacteriology. It consists
of two main parts; the first contains chapters discussing the
range of methods that are available, e.g., DNA amplification
and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. These chapters not only
present an overview of such methods, but also discuss their
application with examples. The second part of the book deals
with the use of methods in detecting specific organisms,
virulence factors, typing and mechanisms of antibiotic re-
sistance. Identification of streptococci, detection of Curyne-
bacterium diphtheriae toxin, typing salmonellae and detection
and characterisation of P-lactamases are among topics
covered. There are detailed and clearly written protocols for
the methods described in each chapter. Useful hints and
information are provided at the end of each chapter, so that
investigators should in most cases to able to get the methods
working using this book alone. Most of the methods
described are based on molecular biology; however, some
phenotypic methods are provided, e.g., iso-electric focusing
of P-lactamases, or analysis of peptidoglycan precursors.
The book is authoritative, as its many contributors are all
experts in their fields; their contributions have been well co-
ordinated by the editors, resulting in a unified work.
Judicious use of tables and diagrams illustrate the book.
Figures show the perfection of results for which the readers
should be striving. The book is sturdily bound in hardback
to withstand the considerable use it deserves and will
undoubtedly get. It represents very good value and I
recommend that all laboratories interested in molecular
diagnosis in bacteriology should buy a copy of it.
M. J. GILL
Urinary Tract Infections
Edited by WILLIAM BRUMFITT, JEREMY M. T. HAMILTON-
MILLER and ROSS R. BAILEY. 1998. ISBN 0-412-63050-8.
Chapman and Hall, London. Pp. 350.
This comprehensive review is a multi-author text with
contributions from the UK, Europe, North America and
Australia. Despite the numerous authors and individual styles,
there is generally a consistency of style and approach
throughout. A welcome feature of this book is the extensive
bibliography at the end of each chapter and in particular the
inclusion of many references going back 30 years or more.
Although the order of chapters is not perhaps altogether
logical (e.g., the first chapter deals with laboratory methods
and the last considers the pharmacokinetics of antibacterial
agents after treatment and prevention have been reviewed),
the pathogenesis, epidemiology, clinical features, screening
and investigation of urinary tract infection are all well
covered. Strong features of the book are its detailed coverage
of urinary tract infection at different ages in life, specific
clinical areas such as the urethral syndrome and the
investigation of urinary tract infection.
The highlights of the book for me are those sections
covering diagnostic imaging, prostatic infection, urinary tract
infection during childhood and catheter care. Common sense
together with a comprehensive but rational review of the
literature characterise these contributions. Inevitably, there
are one or two minor quibbles. In many chapters, especially
those covering clinical aspects, there is a section on
epidemiology, investigations to localise infection and ap-
proaches to therapy, which are all very similar, and after a
while are repetitive. It is surprising that there are not any
colour plates in this book and, therefore, those illustrations
covering pathological aspects of urinary tract infection are
somewhat unsatisfactory. The strong North American
presence amongst the list of contributors means that,
inevitably, trimethoprim-sulphamethoxazole rather than tri-
methoprim alone figures prominently in the list of first line
therapeutic options. However, giving the importance of urine
specimens in the routine work of most microbiology
laboratories and the extensive up-to-date coverage of the
subject, this excellent book will be of interest to many, if
not all microbiologists. It will also be of considerable
interest to infectious disease physicians, urologists and
genito-urinary physicians. Finally, it is well deserving of a
place on most medical library bookshelves.
Clinical Tuberculosis, 2nd edition
Edited by l? D. 0. DAVIES. 1998. ISBN 0-412-80340-2.
Chapman and Hall, London. Pp. 71 1. E99.00.
This book provides an excellent review of tuberculosis at the
close of the 20th century. One of the aims stated in the
preface is to provide more than just a view of tuberculosis in
the developed nations. It succeeds in this aim in the final
section, which contains chapters written by authors practising
in many areas of the developing world. These chapters make
fascinating (and depressing) reading.
The main sections of the book cover history and epidemi-
ology, laboratory diagnosis, pathology, clinical aspects,
treatment, prevention, control and related mycobacterial
disease. Various chapters deal with new laboratory techni-
ques, including DNA fingerprinting and PCR methods for
epidemiological studies and rapid diagnosis, although the
amount of detail given in these chapters is variable.
Serological tests for tuberculosis are also included. The
chapter on immunopathophysiology is one of the clearest
explanations on the pathology of tuberculosis I have read.
The clinical section covers the different forms of respiratory
and extra-pulmonary tuberculosis, including a separate
chapter dealing with tuberculosis in children. A chapter on
the clinical pharmacology of tuberculosis drugs is followed
by the use of different regimens to treat tuberculosis in
different situations (smear positive, smear negative), includ-
ing data about newer drugs such as fluoroquinolones and
rifamycins. This inevitably leads on to a discussion of drug-
resistant tuberculosis and an excellent chapter on surgical
The importance of HIV infection is stated in many chapters
throughout the book, but specific chapters cover the