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Book and Media Review
August 2015

Review of Infections of the Central Nervous System

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Neurology, Department of Immunobiology, University of Arizona, Tucson

Infections of the Central Nervous System, 4th ed
W. Michael Scheld, Richard J. Whitley, Christina M. Marra, eds
928 pp, $275.49, ISBN 978-1-45117-372-7, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Wolters Kluwer Health, 2014.

JAMA Neurol. 2015;72(8):951. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2015.0967

Infections of the Central Nervous System is known as the gold standard textbook for those with a particular interest or specialization in the interface between microbes and the central nervous system (CNS). Like the second edition, the fourth edition has 51 chapters (the third edition has only 50 chapters) devoted to agents of CNS infection (viral, bacterial, fungal, prions, and parasites), as well as introductory chapters that emphasize integrating clinical, laboratory, and imaging workups in patients with suspected or proven CNS infections. Chapters 48 and 49 focus on surgical and intensive care unit management of these often extremely sick patients, and the book ends with an update on preventing such CNS infections with vaccines. Consistent with the goal of writing a textbook devoted to infections of the CNS and built on “the best information from the best authors,” the authors of the individual chapters are generally luminaries in their given fields of interest or up-and-coming authors in their fields of interest. Given the laudable list of authors, it is no wonder that this textbook is the “go-to” text for any infection of the CNS.