Volume 17, Number 3—March 2011
Books and Media
Transplant Infections, Third Edition
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia, PA, USA, 2010
Pages: 800; Price: US $210.00
Transplant infectious diseases, a rapidly advancing field, has developed in the past 2 decades into a well-defined subspecialty of infectious diseases. Because of the specialty’s interdisciplinary nature, advances in the basic science of immune tolerance, immunomodulatory therapy, surgical techniques, antimicrobial therapy, pathogen detection, and global surveillance for emerging infections all intersect in this dynamic field. The third edition of the Transplant Infections textbook is, therefore, a welcome update to the 2003 edition and provides an excellent overview of this rapidly changing field.
The contributors to this textbook are primarily infectious disease specialists from many of the largest academic transplant centers worldwide. This textbook’s organization reflects its clinical orientation. It begins with an overview of solid organ transplantation and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; the ensuing chapters review the pharmacology and immunology related to transplant infectious diseases and include useful tables detailing mechanism of action, side effects, and drug interactions. New chapters on infections after solid organ transplantation, donor-derived infections, and infections in developing countries highlight the increasing awareness of these topics. The practical organization of the subsequent chapters into infections by type of transplantation, sites of infection, and class of pathogen remains unchanged from the previous edition and provides a quick reference for clinicians. Despite the new emphasis on donor-derived infections and geographic medicine, the pathogen-specific chapters variably cover these angles. New chapters on emerging and rare viral infections and on travel medicine, vaccines, and transplant tourism provide brief overviews of these complex topics. A more thorough review of the impact of emerging infections and geographic medicine on transplant medicine would have been useful, given the current era of unprecedented population mobility and the corresponding risk of exposure to emerging pathogens.
The shortcoming of textbooks about rapidly changing fields is that the details may become quickly outdated. For example, the chapter on infection control issues after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation unfortunately does not include reference to the recently updated 2009 Guidelines for Preventing Infectious Complications among Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation Recipients, although it refers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for updated information.
This textbook excels as an orientation and update of the field of transplant infectious diseases for the practicing clinician; infectious diseases specialists, surgeons, researchers, and public health practitioners will benefit from its practical organization and style. For those seeking more comprehensive detail and updated information, it may fall slightly short, but it provides essential background for further exploration.