Volume 8, Number 8—August 2002
Books and Media
Candida and Candidiasis
American Society for Microbiology Press, Washington, 2001; 472 pages.
Yeast of the genus Candida have exploded into prominence in recent years as opportunistic and nosocomial fungal pathogens. However, the most recent textbook on these organisms was written in 1988. Candida and Candidiasis is a worthy successor in providing comprehensive information on the biology of these organisms.
A total of 28 chapters cover the general properties, virulence factors, cell biology, immunity, genomics, diseases, and laboratory aspects of Candida species, with particular emphasis on its most prominent member, Candida albicans. The strongest chapters are those covering research aspects of these organisms. Complex subjects like the chemistry of the cell wall, host recognition and adherence, the cell biology of the yeast-hyphal transformation, and extracellular hydrolases as virulence factors in C. albicans are well summarized with clear, useful graphics and current references. The book is beautifully laid out, with a series of color plates that help describe phenotype switch variants and chromosome maps.
The clinical chapters appear rather superficial for an infectious diseases clinician but may be useful to a student seeking basic material. The chapter on identification and subtyping contains information available in other sources for less than the cost of this book. A discussion of current practices in antifungal susceptibility testing of Candida species would have been helpful. Chapters 2 and 4 contain repetitious material, including photographs of C. dubliniensis. A consolidated chapter on the epidemiology of Candida infections should be considered for the next edition. The chapters covering the cell biology are most useful, either as a comprehensive overview or as a reference text for researchers and students interested in the biology of these organisms.