Clinical Virology Manual, Fourth Edition

Editors: Steven Specter1, Richard L. Hodinka2, Stephen A. Young3, Danny L. Wiedbrauk4
Affiliations: 1: Department of Molecular Medicine University of South Florida College of Medicine, Tampa; 2: Clinical Virology Laboratory Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Department of Pediatrics University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia; 3: TriCore Reference Laboratories and Department of Pathology University of New Mexico, Albuquerque; 4: Warde Medical Laboratory, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Content Type: Reference
Publication Year: 2009

Category: Clinical Microbiology; Viruses and Viral Pathogenesis

MyBook is a cheap paperback edition of the original book and will be sold at uniform, low price.

A comprehensive and updated volume for the clinical virologist. For over 20 years this manual has remained the definitive source of the latest information and procedures for the physician and the clinical laboratory virologist. This fourth edition includes 34 chapters and two appendices, each thoroughly revised and updated by noted experts. These updates address the modernization of clinical virology and new developments in the field, with a strong emphasis on molecular diagnostics. Importantly, this new edition includes material on several recently described viruses including human metapneumovirus, West Nile virus, bocaviruses, and newer influenza viruses and adenoviruses, plus a broadened focus on papillomaviruses and polyomaviruses.

Divided into two sections, this volume presents essential information for clinicians and laboratory virologists alike. Section I details laboratory procedures for detecting and handling viruses, from specimen requirements and quality assurance to virus detection and identification, from the fundamentals through the latest molecular methods. Section II presents the most current knowledge on the wide range of specific viral pathogens. Finally, two appendices provide valuable and up-to-date information on services provided by federal and state public health virology laboratories.

Book Summary

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Click Here to Take a Look

image of Clinical Virology Manual, Fourth Edition

Microbiology Today

18 August 2013

Clinical virology has come of age since reliable and rapid diagnostic tests have become available for most viral infections of humans, mainly due to advances in molecular approaches. In addition, the increasing number and use of general and specific antiviral agents have driven the development of drug susceptibility assays and the definition of particular mutations in viral clinical isolates conveying resistance to particular antivirals. Last but not least, many human infections and diseases which have emerged or re-emerged over the past 20-25 years have viruses as their cause, often infecting the human host after zoonotic transmission.

The Clinical Virology Manual is a collection of test procedures aimed at providing a comprehensive, reliable and rapid diagnostic service. The 4th edition has been considerably updated in describing modern diagnostic procedures, in particular molecular techniques. The first chapters provide very useful advice for setting up a diagnostic virus laboratory. Quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) are as important as proficiency testing (PT), and in many countries laboratories face serious sanctions if several rounds of PT have had an unsatisfactory outcome. High quality equipment and reagents are as important as are appropriate and continuous training and assessment of staff. The suitability of particular clinical specimens is crucial for obtaining a meaningful diagnostic result, and this topic is given detailed attention. The important issue of evaluation criteria of new diagnostic tests has not been addressed.

The general part of description of laboratory procedures contains chapters on virus isolation, electron microscopy, enzyme-linked immunoassays, neutralization tests, haemadsorption, haemagglutination and haemagglutination inhibition, testing for virus-specific IgM antibodies and their interpretation. Viral susceptibility tests and Western blotting procedures are mentioned, regrettably without concrete examples. More room is given to the description of molecular procedures, i.e. nucleic acid detection and amplification techniques, including test variants allowing quantitation of viral nucleic acid in body fluids ('viral load'). Regrettably, good illustrations of test principles, results and their interpretation are scarce. A list of the many abbreviations used in this book would have been very helpful.

The chapters on specific viruses and the diseases they cause are of varying quality. Rather dry chapters are interspersed by others where molecular diagnostic approaches are supported by good descriptions of the underlying molecular biology of viruses. The references are frequently, but not always up-to-date. On the other hand, recently discovered viruses infecting humans (e.g. metapneumovirus, bocavirus, new polyomaviruses, TT virus, etc.) receive attention. To this reviewer, the scarcity of data on drug resistance mutations in the genomes of major human pathogens (HIV, hepatitis viruses, influenzaviruses, viruses of the Herpesviridae family, etc.) represents a missed opportunity, given the importance of this issue for the clinical virologist and the wealth of data available from other sources.

In summary, the manual provides much useful information to the practitioner managing a diagnostic virus laboratory; however, the value of the book as a strategic guidance for clinical virology appears to be limited.

Society for General Microbiology: Microbiology Today

Reviewer: Ulrich Desselberger, Cambridge

Review Date: February 2010

Doody Enterprises

18 August 2013

At A Glance

This comprehensive manual serves as a source of basic and clinical information for the physician regarding viruses and viral diseases and as a reference source for laboratorians to aid in the diagnosis of virus infection by providing detailed information on individual techniques. *Describes laboratory procedures to detect viruses, including quality control in the laboratory and specimen handling *Provides information or a detailed protocol on how to set up and test samples for viral diagnosis *Includes appendixes listing the various federal, state, and local laboratories that diagnose virus infections.


This book describes the variety of viruses that infect humans and the diagnostic assays used to detect them. The previous edition was published in 2000.


Much has changed during the nine years since the last edition, and the major purpose is to provide an update. This is important at a time when new viruses are emerging and spreading quickly. This book will become an important resource for those engaged in clinical virology.


Physician and laboratory scientists are the intended audience. The authors are all recognized virologists who address practical issues in each chapter.


The first section of the book describes very detailed methods used to detect and grow viral pathogens. Chapters set out culture techniques used to grow various viral strains and detection methods including electron microscopy and fluorescence. This section also includes methods to detect human immune responses to viral infections and newer methods that monitor viral nucleic acid in infected patients. The next section, the largest, describes viral agents that cause specific diseases such as respiratory disease, childhood illnesses, and hepatitis. It also includes chapters on groups of viruses such as arboviruses, which are not always closely related but have a common life cycle, and herpes viruses, which are related and exhibit unique abilities to integrate into the host cell genome and reactivate with viral production periodically. The last section includes reference laboratories and contact information.


This is a well written and designed book. This updated version is needed in light of the large number of new viral pathogens that have been discovered over the past 10 years. It should be a required reference for any clinical laboratory.

Doody Enterprises

Reviewer: Rebecca Horvat, PhD, D(ABMM) (University of Kansas Medical Center)

Review Date: Unknown

©Doody’s Review Service

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Please check the format of the address you have entered.
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error