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May 9, 1977

Infectious Diseases of the Fetus and New-born Infant

JAMA. 1977;237(19):2126-2127. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270460116040

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A volume encompassing 1,100 pages is in itself a testimonial to the "growth and development" of the field of perinatal infectious diseases. The "book encompasses infections of the fetus and newborn infant, including those acquired in utero, during the delivery process, and in the early months of life." Twenty chapters, ranging from rubella, cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex, toxoplasmosis, tuberculosis, and syphilis to bacterial infections and antimicrobial agents are "expertly written by the experts." Each tightly edited chapter spans the pathophysiology, epidemiology, diagnosis and differential diagnosis, treatment (when available), and (possible) prevention of the infection. The tables and graphs are excellent; the bibliographies are encyclopedic.

One may always quibble about minutiae in medicine, and the field of infectious diseases seems particularly vulnerable. For example, I believe that chloramphenicol has a greater place (than indicated) in the therapy of severe infections, especially those involving the CNS. But various disagreements do not impair the