This book is a compilation of 18 articles presented at a symposium held in San Francisco in April 1978. In the main, the chapters are well written and include a mixture of original studies and in-depth reviews by experts in infectious diseases. The selection of the topics and their division into sections dealing with host defenses, pathogenesis of infection, clinical microbiology, patient management, antimicrobial therapy, and hospital epidemiology is somewhat arbitrary.
It is difficult to define the place of this volume and its readership. Almost all the topics reviewed can be found elsewhere in the literature in recent years. Having these topics updated and collected together is of value for students and specialists in infectious diseases and clinical microbiology. The main virtue of the book may be that it initiates an annual series that may prove useful in keeping abreast of current topics in infectious diseases.