One can legitimately ask, Is there really a need for another textbook of infectious diseases, particularly one costing over $200 and running to almost 1000 pages? When it is the one edited by Dr Patrick, the answer is an unequivocal "Yes!" What makes this particular textbook of infectious diseases unique is its focus on the immunocompromised infant and child.
Diagnosis and prevention of infectious diseases have long been a mainstay of pediatric practice. With our increased understanding of the importance of host defense mechanisms, we now know there are certain patients who are at particular risk for developing infectious disease as a result of an inability to mount adequate defenses against known pathogenic organisms or organisms that in other settings might be considered nonpathogenic. Initially, these patients were limited to infants and children with congenital immunodeficiency syndromes or premature infants whose immune systems were not fully developed. However, over the