Issue: Mycobacteria

27 August 2014 article

Clinical Laboratory Management, 2nd Edition

£128.00 ISBN 978-1555817275

There are a lot of positive things about this book; it is comprehensive and well written, covering a wide range of topics with useful glossaries and extensive referencing.

However, you can never escape the fact that this is a book primarily published for an American audience; legislation, accreditation and regulation are critical to modern clinical laboratories but while ISO certification is briefly covered, the remainder often comes across as irrelevant to readers based in the UK and elsewhere.

Despite these flaws there remains much in this book that is extremely useful; many of the challenges and changes facing laboratories today can be found on both sides of the Atlantic, especially as laboratories in the UK gradually move towards a model that would be recognisable by many managers in the USA. Change management, recruitment and effective leadership are key issues for any manager and this book makes an ideal starting point for any scientist taking their first steps into a management role.


Royal Sussex County Hospital


GIDEON Guide to Antimicrobial Agents


The Global Infectious Disease and Epidemiology Network (GIDEON) was created nearly 20 years ago to allow doctors and physicians access to a wealth of information to aid quick and easy diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases. The system is available online, offering accessible information (from anywhere with internet access), as well as opportunities to update the information as new research becomes available. The GIDEON Guide to Antimicrobial Agents is an e-book that provides a comprehensive, detailed list of epidemiological diseases and pathogens found in every country in the world with corresponding information about available treatment options such as vaccines, antibiotics and other drugs.

The book is divided into three sections allowing easy access and reference to facts and information. The first section has each pathogen and disease followed by the treatment option; the second section is a list of all diseases followed by GIDEON with generic treatment options; the third section is an alphabetic list of drugs with information about the mechanism of action, dosage, details about their metabolism and the associated contraindications. The three sections allow you to successfully retrieve the information you require from whatever your starting point.

I was able to find my way around the information quickly and easily. The e-book has a slight feel of the online British National Formulary (BNF): it is a comprehensive reference book that provides up-to-date accessible information. This format may particularly benefit those accessing it via a mobile phone. I can understand why it would work well in a clinical setting too, but it requires a subscription. In addition, it is worth noting that practise guidelines often differ from country to country, perhaps reflecting the different organisms and susceptibility patterns seen in different parts of the world or the availability of antimicrobial chemotherapy. Ensuring that these differences are not problematic and it offers something in addition to hospital guidelines, the BNF and Data Sheet Compendiums will be necessary before this book is likely to be widely adopted in a UK setting.


University of East Anglia

Medical Biotechnology

£85.00 ISBN 978-1555817053

Medical Biotechnology is a textbook aimed at students interested in the understanding of molecular biotechnology and its latest applications from a medical perspective. This book would suit undergraduate students encountering molecular techniques for the first time as well as individuals interested in learning about how biotechnology has had an enormous effect on recent medical advances.

I find the book well written, it avoids the use of jargon and provides easy to follow explanations, which is very refreshing when reading a textbook. The 12 chapters are well structured and they cover different aspects of medical biotechnology, from fundamental concepts to practical applications, giving a current overview of the field and using up-to-date examples of how modern molecular techniques are being applied to medicine.

I particularly like the clear diagrams and the text boxes containing examples of relevant practical uses as well as explanations of the scientific papers that have significantly contributed to the development of breakthroughs in the field.

Because of the clarity of the text, its wide coverage and topical relevance, I would expect this book to be extensively used as a reference by anyone wanting to understand the basis of molecular biotechnology techniques in relation to their contributions to medical advances.


John Innes Centre, Norwich

Viral Infections and Global Change

£100.00 ISBN 978-1118297872

Several aspects of global environmental change, including international travel and trade, societal changes and climate change have been explicitly linked to emerging infectious diseases in humans and animals. This book has met the growing need for a single source of information, focusing on emerging and re-emerging viral infections in relation to global environmental change.

This book contains 32 chapters clearly written by many well-known scientists from across the world, with well-organised explanatory tables and figures included. It provides a good overview of the essential topics and allows easy retrieval of information on etiology, epidemiology and pathogenesis of important emerging and re-emerging viral diseases. Chapters are fully referenced and provide a useful update/review of a given area.

Part I of the book, General aspects, gives an overview of the impact of climate change on distribution and spread of the vector-borne and zoonotic viruses. Influence of climate change on the development and blood-feeding patterns of mosquitoes and arboviral host range, but also the role of human behaviour, land-use changes and agricultural practices, global travel, animal and meat trade and animal migration on the spread and (re)emergence of viral infections is also discussed. This section includes chapters describing the importance of surveillance systems, predictive modelling and development of novel detection and diagnostic methods.

Part II, Specific Infections, provides condensed information about emerging and re-emerging coronaviruses, orthopoxviruses, arenaviruses, bunyaviruses, flaviviruses and other important zoonotic and vector-borne viruses.

The main audience for this book includes research scientists, epidemiologists, and medical and veterinary students, working in ecology, environmental management, climatology, neurology, virology and infectious diseases. In my opinion, the book will be especially useful for postgraduate students and those who are looking for a comprehensive overview of the field. I learnt so much from the book and enjoyed reading it. It is definitely a welcome and timely addition to the biomedical literature.


Czech Republic Veterinary Research Institute, Brno