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Exposure: A Guide to Sources of Infections

Author: Dieter A. Stürchler1
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Affiliations: 1: Department of Social and Preventive Medicine Basel University and Sturchler Epidemiologics, Büren, Switzerland
Content Type: Reference
Format: Electronic
Publication Year: 2006

Category: Clinical Microbiology

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is a single reference source for clinicians, public health professionals, epidemiologists, and clinical microbiologists working to identify infectious diseases agents. From prions to parasites, this unique new volume offers comprehensive coverage of infections and infectious agents and provides a good starting point for compiling a thorough patient exposure history and initiating the appropriate laboratory testing.

The infectious diseases detailed in are organized by major exposure groups and subgroups, and the book offers an international scope of coverage. Up-to-date information on sources of infections, transmission risks, and potential infectious agents is provided. A system of icons used throughout the book facilitates easy use of the book in time-sensitive situations. Infection risks for individuals, at-risk groups, the community at large, and outbreak situations are documented.

features an alphabetical listing of infectious agents that examines modes of spread, risks, and the impact of infections. Additionally, the book includes an overview table that reviews the taxonomy of the most agents that infect humans and a select number of agents that infect animals. Appendixes provide an exposure checklist, a glossary, and a list of acronyms used in the book.

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Doody Enterprises

20 June 2013

At A Glance

Exposure: A Guide to Sources of Infections is a single reference source for clinicians, public health professionals, epidemiologists, and clinical microbiologists working to identify infectious disease agents. From prions to parasites, this unique new volume offers comprehensive coverage of infectious and infectious agents and provides a good starting point for compiling a thorough patient exposure history and initiating the appropriate laboratory testing.

Description

This nearly 900-page book covers human exposures that may result in an infectious disease. The causative agents discussed include animals (both domestic and wild), natural and human-made environments, foods, other humans, and healthcare-associated devices and products (e.g. drugs and blood products). Nearly one-third of the book is dedicated to a taxonomic overview of various microbiological agents and a bibliography with over 8,000 references.

Purpose

The main objective appears to be to provide a comprehensive review of the various sources of exposure reported to be associated with human disease primarily from an epidemiologic perspective. To the best of my knowledge, the book is the first of its kind, and serves as a convenient "one-stop shop" for healthcare workers (both in public and clinical sectors) interested in epidemiological risk factors of a variety of infections. The author generally meets this objective well.

Audience

The book is intended for primary care physicians, infectious disease specialists, travel health practitioners, microbiologists, and public health workers.

Features

The book includes an abundant list of sources of infections and agents that cause human disease. The layout of the book is based on exposure categories so that readers can find out what type of infection(s) a particular patient is at risk for following a certain type of exposure. The appendix on infectious agents summarizes various characteristics of each agent, such as its mode of spread, epidemiological risk factors, and common clinical manifestations. A notable strength of the book is its extensive list of references, many of which are relatively current. Several shortcomings of the book are apparent. First, the index does not adequately cover the breadth of material presented in the book. For example, although Serratia liquefaciens, tattoos, body-piercing, melons, and parsley are discussed in the book, these terms cannot be found anywhere in the index. Second, conspicuously missing is a comprehensive table listing the agents and their potential sources side-by-side for readers who may know the causative agent but wish to quickly review its potential sources. Third, there are some notable omissions in the discussion of source-agent connections. For example, certain potential sources of infection (e.g. hospital mattresses associated with Acinetobacter spp. infections, blood pressure cuffs associated with Clostridium difficile infections, and atypical mycobacterial infections associated with electromyography/nerve conduction studies, seem to have been overlooked. Fourth, the term "lethality" is used on more than one occasion to refer to mortality without making the important distinction between "crude" and "attributable" mortality rates. Lastly, what one may consider invasive procedures such as intubation, endoscopy, and transesophageal echocardiography are curiously covered in the noninvasive procedures chapter, leading readers to question the definition of "noninvasive".

Assessment

Overall, this is a well-written comprehensive work covering an important aspect of infectious diseases that is fully dedicated to the subject of human exposure. Its shortcomings notwithstanding, readers with an interest in infectious diseases should find this book informative and practical, particularly when faced with patients with certain infections or one or more potential sources for the same.

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Reviewer: Farrin Manian, MD, MPH (St. John's Mercy Medical Center)

Review Date: Unknown

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