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Mycobacteria and TB: Issues in Infectious Diseases, Volume 2 FREE TO VIEW

Toby L. Merlin, MD
Chest. 2005;127(2):693. doi:10.1378/chest.127.2.693
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Published online


Stephan H. E. Kaufman and Helmut Hahn, eds. Basel, Switzerland: Karger, 2003; 156 pp; $147.00

Tuberculosis remains one of the most frequent causes of human suffering and death, infecting one third of the world population and killing two million people each year. More than 80 years after bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) was developed and > 40 years after the availability of effective multidrug antituberculosis regimens, we are confronting new challenges in the battle against tuberculosis. The HIV/AIDS epidemic is fueling a massive increase of active tuberculosis in sub-Saharan Africa, and there is a burgeoning worldwide problem of drug-resistant tuberculosis caused by ineffective management of antimicrobial chemotherapy.

Against this background of a persistent and threatening global public health scourge, Mycobacteria and TB provides a broad overview of current knowledge of the epidemiology, molecular biology, and immunology of tuberculosis. There is a particular emphasis on how our expanded understanding of the molecular basis of host-pathogen interactions—combined with new tools for vaccine and drug development—might enable us to win the battle against tuberculosis.

Mycobacteria and TB is a compact, multiauthored text of nine chapters written by international experts in the field. An introductory chapter by Donald Enarson of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease describes the natural history of tuberculosis in individuals and communities. The chapter by Dick van Soolingen, Kristin Kremer, and Emelia Vyncycky provides a primer on how molecular biological techniques have expanded our understanding of the epidemiology and evolutionary biology of tuberculosis. A chapter by C. John Clements provides a comprehensive review of BCG vaccination, and a later chapter by Brigitte Gicquel discusses new developments in vaccination against tuberculosis. Stefan Niemann and Sabine Ruesch-Gerdes of the German National Reference Center for Mycobacteria provide an update on current chemotherapy and drug resistance, and Clifton Barry of the TB Research Section of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases discusses new strategies for antituberculous chemotherapy. Other chapters include “Laboratory Diagnosis of Tuberculosis” by Gaby Pfyffer of the University of Zurich, “Molecular Biology of Mycobacterium tuberculosis” by Grainne Saunders and Johnjoe McFadden of the University of Surrey, and “Immunology and Persistence” by Timo Ulrichs and Stefan Kaufmann from the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin. Together, the chapters effectively summarize current scientific information essential for Mycobacterium tuberculosis prevention, control, and treatment. This text would be an excellent resource for anyone who wants to be brought up to date on basic scientific research involving tuberculosis and its control.




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