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Book and Media Reviews
November 23/30, 2011

Infectious Diseases

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: University of Michigan Health System and Veterans Affairs Healthcare System, Ann Arbor, Michigan (pmalani@umich.edu).

JAMA. 2011;306(20):2269-2270. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1723

The third edition of Infectious Diseases offers a comprehensive and aesthetically pleasing approach to the core content of clinical infectious disease. Although the aptly titled, 2-volume textbook includes all of the typical chapters on microbes, infectious syndromes, and antimicrobial agents, Infectious Diseases distinguishes itself from other textbooks by delivering some unexpected features.

In contrast to most contemporary reference works, the focus of Infectious Diseases rests squarely on day-to-day issues related to management of care. This effort to highlight clinical practicality is evident throughout, although some aspects are subtle. For instance, the “Anti-Infective Therapy” and “Clinical Microbiology” sections are placed at the back of the book, not up front as is customary. Also, the “Clinical Microbiology” section is far from comprehensive. In fact, the book includes only 2 chapters on fungi, “Opportunistic and Systemic Fungi” and “Superficial and Subcutaneous Fungal Pathogens.” This contrasts with other infectious diseases textbooks, which often include numerous chapters on fungal pathogens, sometimes devoting an entire chapter to a single obscure genus. Instead, Infectious Diseases addresses fungal infection through clinical avenues such as candiduria in the intensive care unit, antifungal prophylaxis, and fungal pneumonia and sinusitis.